Rates of Participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Vary by State

Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2007
By: Karen E. Cunnyngham and Laura A. Castner
Source: Mathematica Policy Research

From Press Release (12/9/09):

A new policy brief from Mathematica Policy Research detailing participation rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program, shows that, overall, 66 percent of all eligible people and 56 percent of the eligible working poor participated in SNAP in 2007. The participation rate—the percentage of the eligible population that participates in the program—is a widely used standard for assessing how well the program reaches its target population.

Mathematica’s study shows that state rates vary widely. Some states, like Maine, Missouri, and Tennessee, have consistently high participation rates, while others, like California, Colorado, and Wyoming, have consistently low participation rates. Regionally, the Western Region’s participation rate of 56 percent was significantly lower than the rates for all other regions. The Midwest Region had the highest participation rate in 2007—77 percent—significantly higher than the rates for all other regions.

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