The use of food stamps in Thayer 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 Thayer County residents receiving food stamps hit 6.3 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services. That’s an increase of 1.7 percentage points since 2007, the year the recession started.
Thayer County’s food-stamp usage rate is lower than the state rate. Across Nebraska, 9.5 percent of residents in 2011 received support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as the food stamp program is officially known. Nationally, 14.8 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits.
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