AUGUSTA, Maine — More Mainers have been enrolling in the federal food stamp program as the recession has taken its toll on jobs and the economy.

Citing the latest Agriculture Department figures, the Sun Journal of Lewiston says 222,261 Mainers are signed up for food stamps, meaning about one out of every six people in the state are receiving benefits.

By comparison, about one in 10 Mainers was receiving food stamps in August 2003, which marked the end of the last recession and start of a new system that increased enrollments.

Between August 2008 and August 2009, overall enrollment in Maine increased by about 20 percent, compared to roughly 40 percent in Vermont and 36.5 percent in New Hampshire.