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S.D. Community Group Continues to Focus on Food Stamp Program

Audio

Aired 8/27/09

A San Diego community group is continuing to draw attention to how few people take advantage of the county’s food stamp program. The group thinks more can be done despite recent changes to the program.

— A San Diego community group is continuing to draw attention to how few people take advantage of the county’s food stamp program. The group thinks more can be done despite recent changes to the program.

In a recent report, the county says it’s boosted the number of people getting food stamps from just over 100,000 to more than 140,000 in the last year. But Joni Halpern, the director of the Supportive Parents Information Network, or SPIN, says although the increase is good it might be explained by the bad economy.

“It doesn’t tell you that they solved the problem of food stamp participation, just to know that several thousand more have gotten food stamps. It may mean that the pool of food stamp applicants has grown and they’re still hitting the low numbers of participation that they were hitting before. And that’s what I think it shows,” she says.

The county is trying to enroll an additional 50,000 children and elderly people in the food stamp program. But Halpern says her experience shows people’s applications are being delayed and wait times are getting longer.

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