WASHINGTON - More families could get food stamps from the government.
Governor Chris Gregoire and state lawmakers forced the Department of Social and Health Services to increase the number of people getting aid.
Starting October 1st, the eligibility rules for the state food stamp program will change making them available to more people.
Leaders with DSHS tell KNDU the new rules will also help more kids get free and reduced school lunches.
Lawmakers made the changes because of the increased cost of living and high gas prices.
According to the DSHS, right now people who make up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level, which is about $26,900 for a family of four, can receive help.
But under the changes, anyone below or at the 200 percent poverty level, which is about $42,400 for a family of four, may be qualified to receive help.
DSHS thinks about 23,000 additional Washington households could receive help under the new changes.
For more information call: 1-877-514-FOOD or (3663) or visit www.foodhelp.wa.gov