Food Stamp Use In Coffee County On The Rise

food_stampsThe use of food stamps in Coffee County increased during the recession, assisting families in stretching their food dollars, contributing to local spending and helping spark a national debate about the future of the federal nutrition program.
The proportion of Coffee County residents receiving food stamps hit 21.5 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services. That’s an increase of 7.5 percentage points since 2007, the year the recession started.
Across Tennessee, 20.4 percent of residents in 2011 received support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as the food stamp program is officially known. Nationally, 14.8 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits.
In 2011, residents of Coffee County received a combined $17,918,876 in SNAP benefits. The USDA reports that each $5 in SNAP benefits generates $9.20 in spending.