Applications to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have increased by 79 percent in less than a week in Georgia amid the COVID-19 outbreak, state officials said.

The health crisis, which has led to the social distancing requirements and shelter-in-place orders in places around the state, also has caused a spike in unemployment claims and fears over food security…

Representatives for the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO), a solutions-based think tank focused on community building through public policy, said they expect the number of Georgians who depend on government assistance to continue to grow in the coming months.

“The health toll is the most severe, but the economic consequences are also deeply felt,” GCO president and CEO Randy Hicks said.


GCO spokesman Corey Burres said long-term reforms need to be set in place to drive faster recovery.

“Obviously the longer our communities face financial hardship, the less money will be available for government interventions,” he said.

Hicks said the most impact could come from community support.

“We believe that the most good will happen through our local communities, where neighbors help neighbors,” he said.

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