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More Nevadans seek federal food assistance

RENO — The government reports that rising unemployment and higher food prices have caused more Nevadans to seek federal food assistance.

About 158,900 people in Nevada applied for food assistance in September, up 20 percent from the previous year.

The government reports that the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly the food stamps program, served 17 percent more Americans in September.

The average monthly benefit under the program was about $96 per person and $215 per household in the 2007 fiscal year.

State officials said Nevada’s jobless rate in October reached 7.6 percent, the highest it has been since May 1985. There were an estimated 105,300 people out of work. Unemployment in Nevada is expected to hit a high of 8.8 percent about this time next year.

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