Georgians looking for help staying warm this winter are finding long lines and reduced budgets at assistance programs. Low-income residents can apply for federally-financed home heating through community organizations. Last month's cuts in food stamp benefits led to a record number of applicants for energy assistance.
Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.