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Study shows greater rural reliance on food stamps.

YANKTON — The issue of hunger is often associated with people in inner cities, where the cost of living tends to be high.

But a new study shows some of the greatest need can be found where America's food supply is grown and raised.

Jon Bailey, director of rural public policy program for the Center for Rural Affairs, authored the report, which examines the use of food stamps, now called SNAP benefits, from 2008 to 2012.

"What we found is that during that time period, more households in rural areas received SNAP benefits than did households in more urban — both metropolitan and small-city — areas," Bailey said.

Another key finding, according to Bailey, is rural areas and small cities have higher percentages of households with seniors and children receiving food support than in larger urban areas.

"SNAP is providing a way for those people and those households to meet their food needs, which is important because those two population groups are probably most at risk of hunger and food insecurity," Bailey said.

In rural areas, one in nine households has a SNAP recipient who is either under age 18, or an adult 60 years of age or older.