A record 41.3 million Americans were receiving supplemental nutrition assistance by the middle of 2010. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program is the new name for what used to be called the food stamp aid program. High unemployment and higher food costs are the likely culprits causing the steep rise. The number of Americans receiving aid has almost doubled in the last few years with no end in sight. The stats are sobering and will probably get worse before they get better. According to the New York Times, traditionally, assistance figures begin to decline a few months after there's a drop in the unemployment rate.