Food Stamp Demand Increases - NBC 7 San Diego

Food Stamp Demand Increases

More than 237,000 people needed food stamps in 2011



    San Diego is hiring more than 60 new employees to deal with the increasing demand for food stamps – because the county needs more workers to process the demand for food stamps.

    Since 2006, the number of people on food stamps in California has nearly doubled, according to data. But in San Diego County, the number has nearly tripled.

    In 2006, the number of San Diego people on food stamps was 83,000. But in 2011, that number had increased to more than 237,000.

    For years, San Diego was ranked last many national surveys, saying San Diego officials had a tough time getting food stamps to people who were eligible. The county used to put a lot of effort rooting out fraud. Now that focus has shifted toward getting people who need it to apply.

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    The large number of recipients shows the city is doing a better job eliminating red tape, including making it easier to apply for food stamps. Now they require fewer visits to county offices, where people formerly spent hours in a waiting room.

    One of the benefits of more staffing includes letting people apply online, phone or fax. Hiring more workers should also speed up the process.

    However, a lot of increased demand could also be because of the recession, which has a substantial amount of San Diego residents unemployed.

    Advocates who work with the county said they hope with more workers, people will be able to get the resources they need.

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