Federal expenditures for USDA’s food assistance programs totaled almost $53 billion in fiscal 2006, a 4-percent increase over the previous fiscal year. This was the sixth consecutive year in which food assistance expenditures increased and the fourth consecutive year in which they exceeded the previous historical record. The five largest food assistance programs—the Food Stamp Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the School Breakfast Program—accounted for 95 percent of USDA's total expenditures for food assistance. This report uses preliminary data from the Food and Nutrition Service to examine trends in the programs at the through fiscal 2006. It also discusses a recent ERS study that examined income volatility among households with children and the implications of volatility for eligibility in the National School Lunch Program.