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Food Stamp Applications Soar In Contra Costa County

CONTRA COSTA (KCBS) – Food stamp applications have skyrocketed in Contra Costa and county officials report an increasing number of those dependent on the stamps are children.

When the recession struck a few years ago, the Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department was inundated with requests for food stamps, but Director Joe Valentine said that nothing could prepare him for what's happening now.

KCBS' Dave Padilla Reports:

"We now have over 30,000 households on food stamps," said Valentine. "Three years ago we had 16,000. So those applications have increased significantly."

Valentine said that the most troubling trend is that the fastest growing percentage of the population in poverty are children. He said that more than 13,000 children have been added to his department's caseloads within the last three years.

Statistics from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano show that nearly 30 percent of those served at emergency food programs are children.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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