BY JOSH PRESLEY
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal aid program administered under the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture to provide food-purchasing assistance to low-or-no-income residents in the country.
The number of Clay County residents assisted by SNAP has steadily increased over the past decade, according to a report from the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
MS DHS Public Information Officer Julia Bryan said the number of Mississippi residents using SNAP has increased overall since the economic downturn of 2007-08.
â€śSNAP benefits are the number one safety net we have in the U.S. for people that are food-insecure,â€ť Bryan said. â€śItâ€™s such a big program and itâ€™s constantly expanding.â€ť
The MS DHS report shows that 29.5 percent of Clay Countyâ€™s residents received SNAP benefits in 2013, up from 19 percent in 2010. This is above the state average of 22.5 percent.
Clay County has the largest percentage of residents benefiting from SNAP in the Golden Triangle region, with 24.2 percent of Lowndes County residents and 18.3 percent of Oktibbeha residents receiving benefits.
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