Food stamp recipients in Louisiana have access to many of the same benefits that help the rest of us, including discounts on certain grocery products and more.
However, some are now getting a boost in their access.
New Orleans City Councilmember Michael Drysdale announced Wednesday that the Food Stamps New Orleans Office of Financial Assistance is boosting the eligibility requirements for food stamps in the city to include a number of local food producers.
The new eligibility requirements, which Drysale says will help boost the number of people accessing food stamps, come as Louisiana is struggling to get a handle on its food stamp population.
The state’s food stamp program had nearly 2 million residents when the recession began in 2009.
But the number has steadily declined over the past five years.
The Louisiana State University Extension office of food stamp services says the Louisiana Food Stamp Program was up by 3.1 percent in March, the most in six months.
This represents a 6 percent increase from the same period in 2016.
It was the first increase since the program began in December 2015.
The office says that means food stamp recipients have an additional $7.9 billion in available savings this year.
The agency has been working to help more Louisiana households, including those who have food stamps but who aren’t able to get the benefits they need.
Drysales office says the changes will benefit food stamp participants who have been unable to access the benefits.
Drysdale said the changes to the state’s eligibility criteria will be implemented in early 2018.