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The Voice - Student Newspaper

Trend Alert: Get on Food Stamps!

By April Moody
Reporter, The VOICE

It seems there is a new, ever-increasing trend among Arizona's young adults, desperation.

Where once college students felt suffocated in their position in American society, now a desperate need for help to get by in today's economy is growing.

Arizona citizens seem to be floundering financially, more so than the rest of the country, as it is the number one state in the U.S. with increasing recipients of the Food Stamp Program.

In 2001, Arizona was spending $20 million on this program, a number that has dramatically more than tripled to $63 million in the past couple of years.

Since the recession began in December of 07, there has been an additional 123,000 recipients of food stamps in Arizona, close to the populations of Peoria or Tempe.

The numbers are not surprising to Arizonan residents who find themselves strapped for cash.

Blair Reese, 21, who plans to attend Glendale Community College (GCC) in the Fall, finds himself questioning his ability to get by without State or Federal Aid.

"How can we be expected to attend college and become contributing citizens who can stem the tide of this recession, when the cost of tuition and just surviving keeps increasing?" It's something he is not alone in wondering.

Reese, like many other incoming or current college students, are finding that things in Arizona don't seem to be getting better, despite the abundance of stimulus dollars flooding in meant to raise drooping hopes.

It's obvious that the increase in these numbers is due to the drastic amount of job losses that Arizona has experienced since the recession began.

The Grand Canyon State ranks third in the U.S. for job losses since 2007, and it has become increasingly apparent that these numbers will not be decreasing anytime soon.

And it's not just Arizona; the entire country has seen growing numbers in food stamp recipients and individuals on other state and federal aid programs.

1 In 10 Americans today rely on food stamps daily. It's something that causes the everyday citizen to wonder if they can make it financially, when there is so little to go around.

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The Voice is the student newspaper of Glendale Community College and is published bi-weekly during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus with a circulation of 5,000.

The Voice
(623) 845-3822

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Content revised 4/15/09