60 Percent of Eligible Arkansans Use Food Stamps

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Low-income residents in the Mississippi Delta are more likely to take advantage of food stamps than poor residents in other parts of the state.

That's according to a recent study by the National Priorities Project.  The study found that Arkansas ranked 10th among states for participation among low-income residents, at 60.6 percent.

The study found that poor residents in Phillips County had the highest participation rate, while low-income people in Carroll County had the lowest rate.

The study found that the highest participation rates were in the Delta in east Arkansas, though Jefferson and Columbia counties also had at least 75.1 percent of those eligible using food stamps.

Nationally, only about half of those eligible participated in the food stamp program in 2004, according to the study.

Arkansas Dept. of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell says Arkansas' food stamp participation rate averages about 385,000 people a month and has increased steadily since 2000.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)