In a story published Monday in the Weekly Standard, the number of Americans receiving the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) grew to almost 47 million at the end of 2012.

Jon Ebelt, Public Affairs Director for the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that administers the SNAP program in the state, said the number of Montanans receiving assistance now stands at 123,000. In Missoula county, that number stands at about 15,000.

In 2009, Ebelt said 87,000 people were receiving SNAP benefits, and the number has grown steadily through the recent recession through 2012. He said the most Montanans were receiving benefits from December of 2011 through February of 2012, when about 127,000 took advantage of the program.

Ebelt invited anyone interested in receiving SNAP benefits to visit the State of Montana website.

Jon Ebelt