NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that Louisiana had a big increase in food stamp use even before Hurricane Isaac and approval of emergency food stamps.

The Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana tied North Carolina for the nation's biggest increase in food stamp use between May and June, at 1.3 percent.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Children and Families said last month that the growth of the food stamp program in Louisiana has been only about half the national increase. Between May and June, the national increase was 0.4 percent.

Since Hurricane Isaac, thousands of people have been signing up for emergency food stamps in the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It's meant to offset the cost of spoiled food from power outages and evacuations related to Hurricane Isaac.