Times are tough — and the jump in the number of New Jerseyans on food stamps reflects it. In June, 647,262 people in the Garden State were participating in the food stamp program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org website. That’s a 26.4 percent increase over 2009’s 512,268. New Jersey saw the tenth-highest rise in food stamp participants in the country this year. Idaho, with a jump of 38.4 percent, Rhode Island (34.7 percent), Utah (33.5 percent) and Connecticut (33 percent) followed close behind. The average New Jersey participant gets $125.06 per month in benefits. There were 41.275 million enrolled in the program nationwide this past June, an 18.3 percent increase over June 2009.
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