Number of People Enrolled in Food Stamp Program Goes Up

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POSTED: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 12:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 6:35pm

East El Paso- We take cash, check, or food stamp.  It's a cashier's standard line at Barron's Superette in East El Paso.  The owner tells us it's a line of the times.

"A lot of people, either they're losing their jobs or their hours are being cut at their employment, so we've seen an increase in people on food stamps," says Robert Barron.

Meaning Visa and Amex get swiped a lot less than the plastic card each person on food stamps is given.  Cashiers are seeing it more than ever before.

"I'd say close to 70 percent of our business is food stamps," says Barron.

What Barron sees is mirrored nationwide.  Food stamp users have gone up for 18 straight months, totaling more than 40 million people.

Those enrolled in El Paso County get an average of 300 dollars a month.  But even with that, Barron says people who shop at his store shop smart.

"We've seen some shoppers that are more cautious with what they purchase, they're not free spending, they're just trying to make sure their food stamps last."

Last at least as long as the recession. 

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