|The average monthly number of persons during the state fiscal year who were recipients of the federally funded Food Stamp Program, which issues to eligible recipients coupons that are redeemable for food products at most retail food stores. Eligibility is based on income and resource guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The sum of counties and the total for North Carolina may differ due to rounding. Between 1974 and 1975 the food stamp program became mandatory in all counties. Prior to this time counties had the option to participate in the food stamp program or in community food distribution.