The federal government is praising the way Vermont administers the federal food stamps program.
Yesterday the U-S Department of Agriculture gave the state a $269,000 award.
USDA Regional Administrator Suzanne Biermann says Vermont is one of four states that have improved the percentage of people eligible for food stamps who actually apply for and receive them.
Steve Dale of the state Department for Children and Families says 48,000 people were enrolled in the food stamps program a year ago. Now there are more than 53,000.
Dale says rising fuel costs rising at the pump and in the home mean food stamps are playing a bigger and bigger role.
The goal is to get anyone who qualifies to take advantage of the food stamps program.