Generally, one can look at reports from a locality’s social services department and get a pretty good feel for how residents in that particular community may be faring in a given economy.
Beth Barry, director of Gloucester’s Department of Social Services (DSS), gave her annual update to members of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors earlier this month, and some of the numbers were alarming.
According to Barry, the Gloucester’s DSS approved benefits for Medicaid recipients in community totaling over $24 million in the last fiscal year. "And that’s incredible," she said, noting that the figure is up about $7 million more than it was in fiscal year 2008.
In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also referred to as SNAP or the old food stamp program), Gloucester’s DSS approved $6.6 million in benefits for Gloucester residents who were eligible in fiscal year 2011.
"We currently have about 200 more citizens receiving Medicaid and SNAP issuance than we did last year this time," Barry said. "When we look at current expenditures, we’re looking at $3.8 million. I’m predicting in this fiscal year exceeding $7.2 million for issuance to our citizens."