Number of food stamp users hit new high in Oklahoma - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Number of food stamp users hit new high in Oklahoma

Lawton_In a new record, for the second straight month, the number of Oklahomans receiving food stamps has reached the highest level in state history.  In Comanche County, officials say they believe the local numbers will continue to climb thanks to a change in the program that will allow more people to qualify.  Those who do will get more money because of the Federal Government's stimulus program.

The Department of Human Service's (DHS) latest report says it is seeing increases - some even larger than Oklahoma's - all across the state.  In fact, in one month alone, the number of recipients grew by 6,000 to a record high of $450,000 people on food stamps. 

The first of the month usually is busy for grocery stores, but lately they say they've been even busier.  "The last couple of months, over last year, we've seen an increase of about 14% in food stamps," said Grocery Store Manager Eddy Young.  That number jibes with the increase of food stamp recipients DHS is assisting.  "Maybe their jobs have fallen through, or they've moved here from other areas," said Patsy Davis with DHS.  "You find yourself cutting back on certain bills - maybe $10 or $20, so you can maybe have enough soap and toilet tissue to last you through the month," she said.

Despite the tough times, DHS now is able to help even more people.  Just this month, they say the Able Body Work Program was discontinued.  "People who had not worked, and did not go to work, they could only receive so many months," said Davis.  "With the change in it - people who have not worked - that's not a requirement.  They can come in and apply for benefits, and still receive benefits," she said.

Davis says a lot of those in need will meet the right requirements - which is why the lines for help at DHS are expected to stay busy.  "We will probably have more demand, and an increase in food stamps in this county," Davis said.  "It's good to see that people can buy what they need for their families, and also help us out."

Also beginning this month, recipients should be getting more food stamp money.  The federal stimulus program is bumping all those who receive food stamps up by about 14%.  It could mean $80 more for a family of four.  In addition to food stamps DHS also is offering a temporary program to help with energy utilities called E-CAP.  You must meet financial and resource requirements, and be within 72-hours having your utilities turned off, to qualify.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • More than $55K raised for teacher who stopped shooter

    More than $55K raised for teacher who stopped shooter

    Sunday, May 27 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-05-27 19:24:15 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:27:55 GMT
    (Southern Illinois University via AP). RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT NAME TO JASON SEAMAN - In this undated photo, provided by Southern Illinois University, Jason Seaman, a defensive end for the SIU football team, poses for a photo in Carbondale, Ill. Seam...(Southern Illinois University via AP). RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT NAME TO JASON SEAMAN - In this undated photo, provided by Southern Illinois University, Jason Seaman, a defensive end for the SIU football team, poses for a photo in Carbondale, Ill. Seam...
    Online fundraiser has already surpassed $55,000 goal for Indiana teacher shot while tackling armed student.
    Online fundraiser has already surpassed $55,000 goal for Indiana teacher shot while tackling armed student.
  • More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:33:35 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:27:20 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

  • Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:27 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:27:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Powered by Frankly