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NEW YORK -- The federal government is targeting the elderly, working poor, unemployed and Hispanic populations in a new marketing campaign to get more people to sign up for food stamps.
According to CNNMoney, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began running radio spots encouraging eligible residents to enroll in the program four months ago. Currently, more than one in seven Americans are on food stamps.
The department is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on the radio ads, and free public service announcements are also airing. The campaign can be heard in California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and the New York metropolitan area. The ads will conclude on June 30.
"Research has shown that many people -- particularly underserved seniors, working poor and legal immigrants -- do not understand the requirements of the program," said Kevin Concannon, a USDA undersecretary.
Approximately 46.4 million people currently participate in the food stamps program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That number is just below the record high in January, according to the news outlet. However, more than one in four Americans are eligible for food stamps and do not participate in the program, according to USDA records.