The state is now offering people who are eligible for food stamps the ability to sign up on a computer by surfing to " ". Iowa Department of Human Services spokesman, Roger Munns, says this is part of the continued evolution of the system.

Munns says in the past you had to apply for food stamps, which are now known as food assistance, in person. The state eventually added a phone line where you could call in and sign up, and now there’s the on-line system. Munns says adding on-line registration for food stamps has raised some questions about whether the system would even be used.

"Some people have wondered if anybody would apply since it’s assumed that if you don’t have very many resources, and in fact you can’t have very many resources or income in order to be eligible, then how would they have home computers or internet access.", Munns says, "the answer to that is a lot of people apply through other computers or at work or through the public library system."

Munns says the on-line application requires the same verification as the other methods. He says the D-H-S staff will verify the person’s income and resources, household size and other variables before issuing benefits. Munns says people are more and more computer savvy, and it made sense to add on-line registration. The overall goal is to make sure that everyone who is eligible can take advantage of the program.

Munns says right now about 61-percent of the eligible Iowans receive the food assistance, so there are 240,000 people in about 108,000 households getting an average of about $200 a month. The food assistance program is the second DHS to take on-line applications. The health insurance program for children, known as Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa , or "Hawk-I" was the first.