Form the ABJ, another worrying sign that more and more Central Texas families are struggling to make ends meet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting that food-stamp participation in Texas jumped from 2.68 million individuals in August to 2.95 million in September.
As the economic hard times continue, it is likely that the number will continue to increase, officials say.
“Texas ranks 47th in the nation in the number of food-secure families, meaning we have more people wondering where their next meal will come from than almost any other state,” said Celia Hagert, senior policy analyst at the Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based think tank.
“That’s roughly 1.3 million households, and that number will undoubtedly swell as the full effects of the recession hit Texas families. We need to shore up the Food Stamp Program to keep more families from going hungry during this crisis.”
Nationally, food stamp participation reached a record high in September with more than 31.5 million people receiving the benefit. The increase was driven by economic factors, as well as by the impact of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Previously, participation peaked in November 2005 with more than 29.85 million served by food stamps nationwide in the wake of three hurricanes.