Idaho Food Stamp Recipients Number 235K, A Record - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Food Stamp Recipients Number 235K, A Record

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - About 235,000 people received federal food stamp benefits in December, a new record, as more families needed help getting meals despite a slowly improving economy.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dick Armstrong told legislative budget writers Monday that demand is due to rise 6.3 percent during the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

That would add another 14,000 people to the rolls, compared to 2011. Armstrong says food stamp benefits that total $30 million monthly are a good barometer of what's happening in the economy.

The growth rate has slowed from about 9 percent in 2009, but Armstrong says caseloads are still growing considerably.

He told lawmakers his agency will request rule changes during the 2012 Legislature, so Health and Welfare employees can better manage growing needs.

      
      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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