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benefit

Federal food programs see local increase in need

CHAMPAIGN -- With more than 1.5 million people enrolled in the federal food benefit program, Illinois is among the top six states in the nation receiving the most federal help feeding its residents - following Texas, California, New York, Florida and Michigan.

This past February marked a record high for the federal food stamp program since its inception during the Great Depression as more than 32 million families claimed benefits. Now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, low-income families buy food at participating retailers using an electronic card, much like a debit card.

The News-Gazette/ Shytiesha Hedrick,12, of Champaign gets potatoes from Lincoln´s Challenge Academy Cadet Christian Gallardo during the food giveaway at the Boys & Girls Club in Champaign recently.
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