Applications for food stamps, often the first stop for families falling into the government's safety net, rose 42 percent in November statewide.
The increase is no surprise to those who help low-income people; demand for all sorts of services has been steadily increasing. But it is slowing down the state's ability to process requests.
"The worsening economic conditions have forced many families to come in and apply for safety-net services, primarily cash, Medicaid, food assistance," Leo Ribas, director of the Division Community Services, recently told lawmakers.
In November, 42,000 people applied for food stamps — also called the Basic Food program. The number in November of 2007 was 32,000, according to the division, part of the Department of Social and Health Services.
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