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Food stamp participation and poverty

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.

Locally, food stamp recipients have increased more than 26 percent since 2006, according to data from The Illinois Department of Human Services.

In October 2006, 17,212 people in Champaign County received food stamps. That number grew to nearly 22,000 people in Champaign County this past October.

Local officials say that generous elgibility guidelines allow  those with income within 200 percent of the federal poverty level - or at or below $44,000 a year for a family of four -  to apply for food stamps or other federal and state assistance.Yet, debate continues over the program as critics wonder if food stamps really serve those most in need, according to a recent news report.

The question is: Are families, especially children, going hungry in this county?

 

 

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