State officials say 18 percent of the people who received emergency food stamps in New Jersey after Tropical Storm Irene crashed into the state were ineligible for the help.

Franklin Hurricane Irene

It's believed both errors and fraud were to blame. Irene caused wind damage, power outages and massive flooding after it hit the state just barely below a hurricane level last August.

An emergency food stamp program was activated for the first time in New Jersey due to the scope of the disaster.

Recipients in general did not have to document their special need -- only sign affidavits. Some officials at the county level, where the program was administered, reported a big rush to cash in in some areas not hit hard by the storm.

State officials say everyone did the best they could in a difficult time.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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