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DPW: Food stamp usage not rising in Pa. - abc27 WHTM

DPW: Food stamp usage not rising in Pa.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The increasing use of food stamps that continues across the nation seems to be leveling off in Pennsylvania.

Food stamp participation across the United States has been surging since 2007. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 26 million Americans were on food stamps that year. As of last December, that number had jumped to 48 million.

But in Pennsylvania, the increase is certainly not in line with the national average.

Numbers compiled by the Department of Public Welfare show that food stamp usage has remained relatively steady over the last two years statewide and in Dauphin County, which sees the most usage in the midstate.

Officials said it is reasonable to expect food stamp usage to begin to decrease here and across the state.

"We would hope to see now that things are getting better and turn around that food stamp usage would go down," DPW spokeswoman Anne Bale said. "It certainly would help us along the way in balancing our budget."

Part of the decrease can be tied to asset testing, which was instituted by the state last May. DPW said that helped trim 2,000 people from the food stamp rolls.

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