Record Number of Illinois Families on Food Stamps

August 6th, 2010 - 1:19 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Aug 5 (THAINDIAN NEWS) There are more families in Illinois receiving food stamp benefits than ever before, as a result of the lowest recession to hit the state in decades, according to state officials, with over 780,000 families in Illinois getting food stamps in June, which is an 11.9 percent increase from last year, the Illinois Department of Human Services reported on Monday.

There are 40 million Americans currently on food stamps, which live in 18.7 million households across the country. The number of people who apply in Illinois has increased faster than those who are enrolled and state officials expect those numbers to keep rising. The number of food stamp applications was up by 27 percent in June compared to last year.

The recession, which has been going on for the last two years, is mostly to blame, according to Jennifer Hrycyna, who is the associate director of Human Capital Development at the state Department of Human Services, and oversees the distribution of food stamps in the state.

Another reason for the increase is the elimination of an asset test which use to be a requirement for people to get food stamps, occurred in April. Hrycyna explained, “People didn’t have to spend down their savings all the way in order to apply.” She is unsure how many of today recipients would not have been eligible under the old rules.

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