The increase in food stamp benefits is marginal. For most recipients it amounts to an additional $1 a day. What’s perplexing to officials is that only half of the nearly 120 thousand eligible recipients in San Joaquin County are signed up for the program. Some residents aren’t aware that they’re eligible. Others who are reluctant to interact with the authorities for various reasons, don’t even apply.
Rich Fowler of the county’s Hunger Task Force says the agency is going to go looking for those who are eligible.
“We’re going to make every effort to make sure that every family who is eligible for food stamps actually gets them.”
Spokeswoman Kristine Gibson says the hike in food stamp benefits will take some of the pressure off of the Stockton/San Joaquin Emergency Food Bank, but there are still going to be challenges.
“We’re seeing more clients coming in requesting food. We’re not seeing the food donations increasing.”
The food bank is among similar agencies in the Central Valley that has applied for federal stimulus funds to feed the needy.