Thousands of Vermonters who didn't qualify for food stamps last year may now qualify.
The Douglas Administration has announced plans to expand the food stamp program.
The change comes as rising food and fuel prices have many Vermonters wondering how they'll make it through winter.
The state will raise the current household income limit from 130 percent of the poverty level to 185 percent. The change will begin in January and could potentially reach 30,000 households.
"This seems like a very logical step. The federal government allows us to do this, to expand the program. And although we'll have to pay a little extra in state dollars to administer it, the benefits actually come from federal funds. So, I think this is important. It allows more people to get through a tough winter, and put food on the table," said Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont.
Officials say the program could potentially bring an additional $12 million into the state in food benefits, which would eventually work its way into the local economy.
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