(Washington-AP) -- The government reports more people were on food stamps in March compared to the month before. But enrollment
in the program was still more than one million below the year before.
Officials say enrollment in the program is off about 30 percent over the past four years for a variety of reasons, including the strong economy and tighter eligibility requirements.
Some 17-point-three million people were on food stamps nationwide in March, an increase of 98-thousand from February.
An estimated 37 percent of people eligible for food stamps aren't getting them. The Agriculture Department plans a series of
public meetings this summer in seven cities to find out what the government can do to get more of them into the program.
The meetings will be in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and Los Angeles.
On the Web: USDA's Food and Nutrition Service:http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns