The number of people on food stamps has gone up in most mid-state municipalities over the past year, according to figures provided to The Patriot-News by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
According to an analysis done by Mark Price, an economist with Keystone Research Center, the number of people on food stamps in high poverty municipalities in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and northern York counties grew from 51,972 in July 2008 to 82,704 in August 2012, an increase of 59 percent. But the number of people on food stamps in low poverty municipalities in the same region climbed from 5,723 in July 2008 to 12,081 in August 2012, an increase of 111 percent. And according to Price's analysis, this trend is a result of unemployment.
“Although college graduates still have lower unemployment rates and are much less likely to live in poverty than other educational groups, even they have faced increased difficulty finding work and thus it is not surprising to see more people even in affluent communities seek out food assistance....”