Oklahoma Food Stamp Requests Up

Tuesday, May 19th 2009, 10:47 am
By: News 9

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A record 463,000 people received food stamps in Oklahoma last month as the effects of the national recession played out across the state.

More than 1,500 people applied for food stamps at a single DHS office in Oklahoma County in April, up from 1,100 a year ago.

Department of Human Services spokesman George Johnson said food stamps are a good economic indicator.

"It tells us a truer picture of what's going on and the health of the economy," he said.
Johnson said the number of Oklahomans receiving food stamps has increased for the past 14 months.

Benefits for people in that program rose 13.6 percent in April due to federal stimulus funds, which are expected to keep coming into next year.

"That's going to do a lot to feed a lot of kids over the next 12 to 18 months," Johnson said.

He said Oklahoma has not felt the full effect of the ongoing recession because of its location in the middle of the country.