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One in five Illinois households now dependent on food stamps

CHICAGO  – New data shows that more than one in five Illinois households are now dependent on food stamps to put food on the table.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, that number is the second-highest number in state history.

The new data, which comes from the Illinois Department of Human Services, shows that in September alone, 5,000 Illinois households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. More than 2 million Illinoisans are currently dependent on food stamps.

“With more than 20 percent of Illinois households enrolled in food stamps, Illinois economic recovery is still struggling,” said Michael Lucci, director of jobs and growth at the Illinois Policy Institute. “State policies that stymie growth like high taxes and fees for businesses and the 67 percent income tax hike in 2011 have set Illinois’ recovery back by years. At our current rate of economic growth, it will take seven years before Illinois has the same number of people working as before the Great Recession. For many families now relying on assistance just to put food on the table, that is too slow.”

Some highlights from the Institute’s report include:

– More than 17,000 Illinoisans have enrolled in food stamps in 2014 alone. More than 2 million Illinoisans are currently enrolled in food stamps.

– Five thousand Illinois families enrolled in food stamps in September 2014. More than one in five Illinois households are now enrolled in the food-stamp program.

– Since January 2010, Illinois is the only state in the Midwest where food-stamp enrollment has outpaced payroll job growth. Today, for every two payroll jobs added, three Illinoisans have been enrolled in food stamps.

The Institute’s full report on food-stamp enrollment compared to job growth in Illinois is available here: illinoispolicy.org/illinois-food-stamps-hits-2014-high/

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