More than one in 10 Clark County residents are using food stamps to help weather economic uncertainty during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of April, there were 890,603 people statewide using the state Food Assistance Program or federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is called Basic Food in Washington. In Clark County, 56,578 people, or 11.6 percent of the population, are using government food benefits.
New applications for these benefits peaked around the second week of April and then began leveling off, according to data from the Department of Social and Health Services.
Spokeswoman Norah West said the agency doesn’t anticipate another surge in applications barring unemployment benefits running out, but it does expect to serve the higher caseload for some time.
During the Great Recession, the need for food stamps slowly ramped up and then gradually decreased as the economy improved.