The use of food stamps in Jackson County increased during the recession, assisting families in stretching their food dollars, contributing to local spending and helping spark a national debate about the future of the federal nutrition program.

The proportion of Jackson County residents receiving food stamps hit 17.9 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services. That’s an increase of 9.2 percentage points since 2007, the year the recession started.

For the full story, see the May 14th issue of The Jackson Herald.

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