Despite high household income in N.J., food stamp usage doubles to 1 in 10 residents | Economy | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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Despite high household income in N.J., food stamp usage doubles to 1 in 10 residents

NJDollars030911_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

New Jersey Department of Human Services data shows that as of September 2011, more than 400,000 households and almost 822,000 people had signed up for the state’s food stamp program, or one in 10 residents.

That number has doubled since 2008, even though New Jersey came in second among states in household income last year.

According to NJ.com, since November 2008, the number of households using food stamps has been in double figures for years, and reached its highest point this past March when the number was 28.6 percent higher than it had been the previous year.

The state has made the food stamp program more available to residents, and relaxed the rules on qualifying. According to Nutrition News, the annual gross income limit for a single person in New Jersey to be eligible went from $14,701.50 in April 2010 to $20,146.50, and the maximum income for a family of three rose from $23,803 per year to $34,281. Also, state residents no longer have to list their assets.

LSNJLAW reports that if your household income falls below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, you may qualify for New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, based on your expenses. A chart is featured here to help you determine if your home meets the program’s income requirements.

Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that an average of 40.3 million people, or 13 percent of the U.S. got food stamps each month in 2010.

 

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