Florida’s Food Stamp Participation Rate Up by 37.5% in 5 years

July 11, 2008

With jobless rates still rising in Florida (we were up .5% from April – May 08 and up 1.6% for the year) and food costs going even higher, more and more working poor are falling in to crises.    According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) from March 2007-March 2008, the price of milk has risen 13.3%, egg prices rose 30%, cheese increased by 12.5% and bread costs 15% more.  Caught in the squeeze many families are for the first time ever needing to reach out for help.

FRAC reports that 1.5 million more people nationwide participated in the USDA’s food stamp program in March 2008 as compared to March 2007.  In Florida we saw an increase of 19% for the same time period. That’s an increase of more than a quarter million persons for our state alone.  From March 2003 – March 2008 we Florida saw a staggering increase of 37.5% in the number of persons participating in the program.  What is even more amazing is that the USDA estimates that approximately 1/3 of all eligible households have not even applied for benefits.

Besides helping families purchase nutritious food, the food stamp program provides local economic stimulus.  According to the USDA, for every $5 in new food stamp benefits, $9.20 is generated in local community spending.  (Click here for the story from the USDA)  They further estimate that a 5% increase in the national participation rate would create 2.5 billion in new nationwide economic activity.

Navigating the system can be tricky for first time users.   If you, or someone you know, wants to find out about eligibility they can either come on down to The Cooperative Feeding Program (we operate a satellite food stamp office on our campus) or check out DCF’s website for eligibility guidelines and other information.

3 Responses to “Florida’s Food Stamp Participation Rate Up by 37.5% in 5 years”

  1. Marian Walker Says:

    I am 60 years old and have been unemployed since last Sept. when I was laid off from my job. Besides losing my job, I also lost my medical insurance. In Jan. 2008 I was hospitalized with pneumonia, complicated with asthma, high blood pressure and Congestive Heart Failure with an enlarged heart and sent home with oxygen…..In July I was hospitalized again because I couldn’t breathe (even with oxygen)and was treated for Congestive Heart Failure with chest pains, edema, high blood pressure, enlarged heart and asthma. I was sent home with prescriptions for all, which without insurance are very costly. Though I am currently on extended unemployment which won’t last much longer, I’m finding it harder and harder to search for a job. Now I have hospital and doctor bills and don’t know if I qualify for any assistance or where to go if I do. My daughter lives with me but she has a low income job and suffers from migraines which keep her out of work often and she doesn’t get paid …..where should I go for medical treatment since I don’t have medical….I don’t know if I would qualify for food stamps or disability. I am falling behind in everything. Please HELP!

  2. Mo Meyer Says:

    Are you in Florida? I’ll e-mail you directly to see how we can help you.

    Anyone else reading this, be sure to check with your state’s website. Many now allow you to apply online.

  3. Chantay Dama Says:

    Rather great article, very enlightening information. Never ever considered I’d discover the information I need right here. I have been hunting everywhere in the web for some time now and had been starting to get frustrated. Fortunately, I came across your site and got exactly what I had been struggling to find.

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