One in five Illinois households now dependent on food stamps

One in five Illinois households now dependent on food stamps

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - New data from the Illinois Department of Human Services shows that in September, 5,000 Illinois households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - also known as food stamps.

Luxuries were affordable for Penny Darden before she hurt her back while working.

For the last year and a half, she says food stamps are what keep food on the table.

“Everyone has to ask for help sometimes, there is no reason to be ashamed,” Darden said.

As a volunteer at Bethany Village's food bank in Anna, Illinois, she sees just how bad the need is still for folks on government assistance.

“It don't last me a whole month, if that. It might last me two or three weeks if that,” Darden said..

The troubles of people like her might explain the declining unemployment rate and the rising rate of food stamp usage in Illinois.

Michael Lucci is the director of jobs and growth at the Illinois Police Institute.

“It is going to be harder to fund the core services of government, it is going to be less attractive for businesses to locate here because there are such fiscal and economic problems and unfunded pension liabilities and without real reform the state is going to have to brace for some tough times,” Lucci said.

Lucci says it will take seven years before Illinois has the same number of working people before the Great Recession.

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