The number of Nevada food stamp recipients shot up by 21 percent in the last year, a sign of the recession's ongoing toll.
Nevada ranked third in the nation in the number of new people enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program.
Romaine Gilliland, administrator for the state Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, said 329,105 people received benefits through the program in March. The 21 percent jump follows a 47 percent increase in 2009 and a 27 percent increase in 2010.
Gilliland said Monday that the state has held the first or second position nationally for caseload growth of food stamp applications within the last year.
The program is fully paid for by the federal government.