By John Quinterno, Research Associate
The severity of the current recession has fueled a dramatic expansion in North Carolina’s Food Stamp
Program. In April 2009, 1.2 million Tar Heels lived in families receiving food assistance. If those
individuals gathered in one place, they would comprise a metro area more populous than Raleigh-
Cary. Moreover, the number of individuals living in assisted families has increased by 231,000 since
December 2007. Put differently, over the last 16 months the state’s food assistance program has added
slightly more people than currently reside in the City of Winston-Salem.