Monday, May 11, 2009

Food Stamp participation continues to rise

The April data from the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) just arrived, and food stamp participation in Allegheny County rose for the 17th consecutive month. It is now at 125,834 (up 9.1% from a year ago.) Statewide, participation set yet another all-time record, at 1,339,541 (which is 12.4% higher than a year ago.)

Even more dramatic is the impact of the April 1 stimulus increase in benefit levels.Statewide total benefits in April went up more than $28,000,000 thanks mostly to the benefits increase (and slightly to the increasing number of recipients.) Allegheny County recipients shared more than $16,000,000 in food stamps in April, up $2.7 million from March 2009.

Since July 2008, Just Harvest processed over 500 Food Stamp applications--up 52% so far from the year before. And, we just renewed our contract with DPW to provide application assistance over the phone for yet another year. As the need for assistance reaches all time highs, we're working hard to help people gain access to the benefits they are entitled to.

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