BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Participation in the federal food stamp program is increasing in Louisiana, even as it's dropping nationwide.

The Advocate reports that almost 19 percent of Louisiana's 4.6 million residents participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says there was a 9 percent jump from April 2015 to April 2016.

Part of the increase has to do with unemployment, part with a better sign-up system.

But it's largely a combination of Louisiana's poor economy and a large workforce that earns less, on average, than the rest of the nation.

Some parishes saw dramatic increases in food stamp enrollment during the year: 37 percent in Jefferson Parish; 26 percent in St. Martin; 13.5 percent in Lafayette; and 90 percent in Cameron.


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