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Report: California's food stamp use is up, rest of U.S. is down

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One USDA official credits the use of plastic benefit cards with helping to reduce federal food stamp fraud. But lawmakers say that isn't enough.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A federal food stamps card that is used to purchase food.

Recent data about the U.S. government food-stamp program showed an interesting trend – a decline.

Recent data about the U.S. government food-stamp program showed an interesting trend: A decline.  

Between 2009 and 2013, enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the largest nutritional program rose from 33.5 million to 47.6 million participants.

But the newest report from the United States Department of Agriculture shows an actual decline for the first time in several years - down a million participants from 2013. While advocates say the trend indicates an improvement in the overall economy - California seems to not be following that trend. According to experts – the state is actually increasing the number of people receiving aid.

We spoke to Alexis Fernandez, the director of legislation with the California Food Policy Advocates, a group that works with the state and federal government dedicated to improving the health and well being of low-income Californians.

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