NATION : Food Stamp Rolls Rise Sharply
A large jump in the number of people eligible for food stamps and welfare benefits this year is costing states and the federal government billions of dollars, a published report said today.
At least 44 states have reported increases in enrollment, with some rising up to 50%, according to an Agriculture Department report quoted in The New York Times.
The number of people receiving food stamps rose by 1.3 million from May, 1989, to May, 1990, when it topped 20 million for the first time since 1985, found a report submitted to Congress by the Agriculture Department.
The department, which administers the food stamp program, noted that food stamp rolls have risen 16% in the last year in Texas, 19% in Florida, 26% in Nevada, 54% in New Hampshire, 12% each in Georgia and Massachusetts, 7% each in New York State and California, and 21% in Connecticut.
Congress appropriated $14.8 billion, but that proved inadequate and it had to provide an additional $1.2 billion in May. It then directed the Agriculture Department to investigate the causes.