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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

More Floridians receiving food stamps

One in 10 Floridians is now receiving food stamps, a 30% jump in just one year according to an article on tbo.com.  The increase in applicants in 2008 swamped State call centers and appeared at the same time the State was cutting the workers who worked in them. 

The growing hardship is reflected in calls to the state food stamp hot line, which numbered three million in December.  “The tears, men and women, single fathers coming in,” said Lee Ann Godwin, who helps people with their applications and listens to their stories. “It hurts their pride and their ego.”

Applicants face an even tougher road because DCF is trying to process more claims with 3,000 fewer workers as a budget-strapped state cuts employees.  “I know there is a lot of frustration in the public who can’t get through to the call centers,” said DCF Secretary George Sheldon.  Frustrated, more and more people are stopping by local food stamp offices to apply in person instead.

Statewide, 1.8 million people in 921,385 households are on food stamps, an increase of 29 percent over 2007.  Locally, Duval County also saw  a 29% increase (to 45,921) in the number of households receiving foodstamps in 2008.  Just to the south of us, St. Johns County saw a 48% increase (to 4,414) in the number of households receiving food stamps.

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, , , ,

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