DETROIT (WWJ) – The latest Economic Security Bulletin shows that food aid in Michigan rose in the third quarter of 2011 compared with the third quarter of 2010, with nearly 967,000 people in Michigan using the Food Assistance Program, an increase of 4.8 percent.

Cases increased in 74 counties, with six counties increasing their FAP households by more than 10 percent.

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The increase is in spite of a drop across the state in unemployment from 12.2 percent in the third quarter a year ago to 11 percent for the third quarter this year. The improvement in the unemployment rate accompanies a drop in the labor force, however, and does not herald a turnaround in the economy.

Food assistance is given to those with incomes at 130 percent of poverty or less. That’s about $24,000 a year for a family of three.

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Counties with the biggest jumps in food assistance (third quarter 2011 compared with third quarter 2010) are: Mackinac, Presque Isle, Keweenaw, Benzie, Oakland, Schoolcraft, Monroe, Antrim, Macomb and Ogemaw.

Counties with the biggest increases in cash assistance are: Alcona, Schoolcraft, Oscoda, Iron, Crawford, Antrim, Hillsdale, Luce, Sanilac and Missaukee.

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Read the complete bulletin, here.