Laramie, WY – A sign that Wyoming's economy is still lagging comes from the high number of people who are on public assistance. The Economic Assistance Administrator for the Wyoming Department of Family Services is Heather Babbitt. She says in the last year the state has increased aid through its version of food stamps called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program or SNAP. And she adds that the state has also provided over a million dollars in food through its commodities program. Babbitt says that is a huge increase over the last couple of years
"When we look at 2009 we did about $650,000 worth of commodities. So we are way up," says Babbit. "Our usual entitlement is usually less than $200,000. So it has increased quite a lot."
Babbitt says those needing public assistance in other areas has also increased. She says there was a leveling off this summer, but they fear those numbers will go up when summer jobs wrap up.