More people using food stamps

Published: Jun. 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's a program that's designed to help people buy the food they need.

Since 2007, the number of households relying on food stamps jumped more than 100,000.

Almost half a million households and close to a million people are enrolled in the food stamp program.

Last year more than 10,000 people in Cape Girardeau County received food stamps.

That brings the total number of people in the U.S. on food stamps to about 46.4 million Americans.

Robert Gentry owns the Corner Store in downtown Cape Girardeau. He estimates 30 percent of his customers use their EBT cards to purchase groceries which is twice what it was from a year ago.

"A lot more of our customer base are using the food stamp program or EBT cards," Gentry said.

Since 2007, the number of EBT card users in Missouri went up by more than 100,000 households bringing the total to almost 450,000 households.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 1 in 4 Americans who are eligible for the program don't sign up.

Gentry says he's seeing more and more of his customers coming in and using the cards.

"Probably when we first opened it was around 10-15%, and it has doubled in the last year and a half to two," Gentry said.

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