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Health is another concern for Rocca. She is Native American and her boyfriend is Mexican, ethnicities that face a higher risk of developing nutrition-based diseases, like diabetes. But eating healthy is tough on food stamps.

"At the beginning of the month, I shop at a discount grocery store that carries organic produce," she said. "But by the end of the month, all we can afford is pasta. We can't even get the fresh fruits and vegetables."

Rocca said she looks forward to the day when her family won't rely on food stamps. Once she and her boyfriend graduate from college, she hopes her family will be in a better financial situation.

"Every month is a struggle," she said. "I'll just be glad to finish school, and be working full-time. Until then, it's all about surviving."

(Contact Janelle Wetzstein at janelle.wetzstein@arguscourier.com)