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Food Stamps in Centre County

food stampSince 1964, the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has provided food stamps for low-income and no-income families.

Of Centre County’s 145,797 people, 5% of the population receives this nutritional aid – roughly 7,300 people.

In our county, 9% of African Americans, 5% of whites, and 11% of children receive food stamps.

In the past two years, Centre County food stamp usage has increased by 11%, following the general trend of increased usage. Of course, the tough economic times contribute to this rise.

The Bush Administration attempted to erase the negative stigma associated with food stamps by renaming them “nutritional aid.” This change in diction has yet to take full effect, but more people now apply for this aid without feeling as if they’ve surrendered their dignity.

Rather than actual paper “stamps,” the government now issues debit cards, which enable quick electronic transfer. In addition, the government has made the application process easier to ensure that deserving individuals aren’t discouraged by bureaucratic hurdles.

See our previous post on poverty in Centre County for more information, and check out the New York Times website for a topnotch infographic.


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