WASHINGTON (AP)--The Senate has passed a $124 billion agriculture spending bill that pays to add millions of people to the food stamp rolls as rising numbers of the jobless are forced into the program.
Money for the federal school lunch program is going up 12 percent as well, while a popular program that gives additional food aid for poor children and pregnant women gets a 9 percent increase.
As the nation's unemployment rate nears 10 percent, a record 34.4 million people--or one in nine Americans--were participating in the food stamp program as of May. That's an increase of 650,000 people from the previous month and up 6 million from the same time last year.
The House passed its version of the agriculture spending bill last month.
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