By MARVA HINTON
The Miami metro area has a higher percentage of households relying on food stamps than nearly every other major metropolitan area in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Census.
In 2012 and 2013, 17.5 percent of households in the Miami metro received food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Only the Detroit metro area ranked higher with 18.5 percent.
The Miami metro area has some of the highest rates of food stamp usage in the country. The Miami metro area has some of the highest rates of food stamp usage in the country.
This comes as the economy is improving, and more people are finding work.
Feeding South Florida is a food bank that also helps the needy apply for food assistance.
President and CEO Paco Velez says the numbers are high in South Florida because the area has a lot of low-wage service jobs.
“So when folks are starting to go back to work and you see jobs going up, those jobs are not necessarily high-paying jobs,” said Valez. “So once folks start getting employment, now they’re able to access those SNAP benefits, or those food stamp benefits, thereby increasing the amount of individuals who are accessing those benefits.”
In Florida, generally, the unemployed can only receive food stamps for three months in a three-year period.
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