ALSO SEE: Economic Depression Looms: Record Number of Americans will soon be on Food Stamps
Food Stamp Applications Rising Rapidly
Contra Costa Times
By Sara Steffens
Struggling with rising prices and a stalled economy, a growing number of Bay Area families are turning to food stamps.
Here, as across the nation, enrollment in the federal entitlement program has jumped significantly in the past year.
Last year, Contra Costa County approved 18 percent more applications for food stamps than in 2006.
In January alone, the county approved 1,105 applications -- 28 percent more than during the same month in 2007.
Comparing January with January, the overall number of people receiving food stamps grew 8.2 percent in Contra Costa, and 5 percent in Alameda County.
The numbers reflect not only growing unemployment rates, but households coping with the high cost of living here, advocates say.
Food stamps are among the first public assistance programs to respond to tough times, experts agree, because so many people qualify to receive them.