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Record number of Oklahomans receive food stamps in March

BY GINNIE GRAHAM - Tulsa World Modified: April 2, 2009 at 7:56 pm •  Published: April 2, 2009
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Record highs continue to be set in Oklahoma’s food-stamp program as 1.3 percent more residents qualified for the assistance program last month, according to the state Department of Human Services.

In March, 450,057 Oklahomans received food stamps, up from the previous record of 444,184 set in February.

The number of people using food stamps has steadily increased each month for a year. Previously, the state high for food-stamp recipients had been in December 2005, when 443,045 people received aid.

On Wednesday, food-stamp recipients saw a 13.6 percent increase in their subsidy, which is put directly on the cards they use to pay for goods.

The increase comes from the federal stimulus package and is expected to remain until September. It bumps the average benefit from $3 a day to $3.40 a day.

Oklahoma received about $6.5 million more in the food-stamp allocation through the stimulus, with about $1 million of that going to Tulsa County, which averages about 57,140 recipients each month.