2003 SNAP Data

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember


December 2003

Food Stamp Participation Increases in December 2003 to More Than 23.3 Million Persons; December Participation Is More Than 6.4 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

December 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in December 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 287,463 persons from the previous month, to 23,313,767 persons. Some of this increase was due to continuing high rates of joblessness, states improving access, and the effects of the food stamp reauthorization implementation. Some of the fluctuation in participation rates over the past two months was due to the recipients of Hurricane Isabel disaster relief in the fall of 2003.

The December 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 2.8 million persons compared to the December 2002 level and more than 6.4 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, including most recently for legal immigrants, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen in 36 of the last 41 months. Participation in November 2003 rose in 49 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier.

Nonetheless, research suggests that nearly one in four eligible people are not receiving food stamp benefits. See FRAC’s “Gaps in Coverage page” Fortunately, tools are available to bring federal food stamp dollars into families and communities, where each dollar is estimated to produce nearly two dollars in economic activity. See FRAC’s “countercyclical section attachment.”
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November 2003

Food Stamp Participation Decreases in November 2003 Because October Numbers Were Elevated in Aftermath of Hurricane; November Participation Is More Than 6.1 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

November 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in November 2003 (the latest data available) decreased by 283,544 persons from the previous month, to 23,026,699 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. Much of the month-to-month decrease was caused by a jump in participation in October due to recipients of Hurricane Isabel disaster relief. (The average growth from January to September was 1.1 percent/month. October growth was 2.7 percent, with much of it coming in Virginia and D.C. after Isabel.) Excluding disaster relief states and Alaska, the October to November percentage change is +0.5 percent.

The November 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 2.7 million persons compared to the November 2002 level, 4.5 million persons compared to November 2001, and more than 6.1 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, including most recently for legal immigrants, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen in 35 of the last 40 months. Participation in November 2003 rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier.

Nonetheless, research suggests that nearly one in four eligible people are not receiving food stamp benefits. See FRAC’s “Gaps in Coverage page” Fortunately, tools are available to bring federal food stamp dollars into families and communities, where each dollar is estimated to produce nearly two dollars in economic activity. See FRAC’s “countercyclical section attachment.”
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October 2003

Food Stamp Participation Increases in October 2003 to More Than 23.3 Million Persons; Is More Than 6.4 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

October 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in October 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 608,748 persons from the previous month, to 23,315,024 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The October 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 3.2 million persons compared to the October 2002 level, nearly 5.15 million persons compared to October 2001, and more than 6.4 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for sixteen months straight, since June 2002 and in 35 of the last 39 months. Participation in October 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 31 states and the District of Columbia growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

The three jurisdictions with the largest percentage over-the-month increases were Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland, among those states hard hit by Hurricane Isabel that provided disaster food stamps to additional households.
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September 2003

Food Stamp Participation Increases in September 2003 to More Than 22.7 Million Persons; Is About 5.8 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

September 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in September 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 353,413 persons from the previous month, to 22,705,267 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The September 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of more than 2.9 million persons compared to the September 2002 level, nearly 4.9 million persons compared to September 2001, and about 5.8 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for fifteen months straight, since June 2002 and in 34 of the last 38 months. Participation in September 2003 rose in 49 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 33 states and the District of Columbia growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

The two states with the largest percentage over-the-month increases were Virginia and North Carolina, among those states hard hit by Hurricane Isabel that provided disaster food stamps to additional households.

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August 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in August 2003 to Almost 22.4 Million Persons; Is Almost 5.5 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

August 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in August 2003 (the latest data available) jumped by 312,614 persons from the previous month, to 22,351,854 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The August 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of about 2.66 million persons compared to the August 2002 level, almost 4.6 million persons compared to August 2001, and nearly 5.5 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for fourteen months straight, since June 2002 and in 33 of the last 37 months. Participation in August 2003 rose in 49 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 30 states and the District of Columbia growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

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July 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in July 2003 to More Than 22 Million Persons; Is 5.15 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

July 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in July 2003 (the latest data available) jumped by 256,405 persons from the previous month, to 22,039,239 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The July 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of about 2.75 million persons compared to the July 2002 level, more than 4.5 million persons compared to July 2001, and almost 5.2 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for thirteen months straight, since June 2002 and in 32 of the last 36 months. Participation in July 2003 rose in 49 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 35 states and the District of Columbia growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

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June 2003

Food Stamp Participation Increases in June 2003 to Almost 21.8 Million Persons; Is Nearly 4.9 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

June 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in June 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 235,647 persons from the previous month, to 21,782,834 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The June 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of nearly 2.5 million persons compared to the June 2002 level, more than 4.3 million persons compared to June 2001, and almost 4.9 million persons since July, 2000 (when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade).

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for twelve months straight, since June 2002 and in 31 of the last 35 months. Participation in June 2003 rose in 49 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 31 states growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

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May 2003

Food Stamp Participation Increases in May 2003 to More Than 21.5 Million Persons; Is More Than 4.66 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

May 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in May 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 293,272 persons from the previous month, to 21,547,187 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The May 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of nearly 2.25 million persons compared to the May 2002 level, about 4.3 million persons compared to May 2001, and more than 4.66 million since July, 2000.

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation since 2001 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation has risen for eleven months straight, since June 2002 and in 30 of the last 34 months. Participation in May 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In 32 states and the District of Columbia growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

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April 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in April 2003 to More Than 21.2 Million Persons; Is More Than 4.35 Million Persons Higher Than in July 2000

April 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in April 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 220,683 persons from the previous month, to 21,239,873 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary monthly data from USDA. The April 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 2.1 million persons compared to the April 2002 level, almost 4.1 million persons compared to April 2001, and more than 4.35 million since July, 2000.

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. Caseloads then stabilized and began rising in 2000. Increases in participation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation nationally has risen in 29 of the last 33 months. Participation in April 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In more than half the states growth over the 12 month period was 10 percent or more.

April 2003 marked the first month that many low-income legal immigrants (US residents for at least five years) became newly eligible for program benefits, pursuant to the 2002 Farm Bill. While the April caseload increases include some of those newly eligible legal immigrants, more work remains to connect them to the program. For example, the over-the-month caseload increases in the states with the largest immigrant populations (California, New York, Texas, Florida) were not uniformly strong–only 7th, 32nd, 21st, and 50th out of 51 jurisdictions, respectively. And while California’s increase in April is an improvement over its performance in many other recent months, the caseload there was slightly down from a year earlier, unlike 47 other states.

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March 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in March 2003 to More Than 21 Million Persons; Is More Than 4.1 Million Persons Higher Than July 2000

March 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in March 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 264,129 persons from the previous month, to 21,013,899 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary data from USDA. The March 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 1.8 million persons compared to the March 2002 level, and almost 3.8 million persons compared to March 2001.

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. They then stabilized and began rising in 2000.

Increases in participation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation nationally has risen in 28 of the last 32 months.

Participation in March 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In nearly half the states growth was 10 percent or more.

States with the largest increases over the one year period were: Oklahoma (22.3 percent), Tennessee (21.6 percent), Massachusetts (19.9 percent), Maine (19.0 percent), Arizona (18.2 percent) and Delaware (17.9 percent).

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February 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in February 2003 to More Than 20.7 Million Persons; Is More Than 3.8 Million Persons Higher Than July 2000

February 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in February 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 50,233 persons from the previous month, to 20,749,242 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary data from USDA. The February 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of more than 1.7 million persons compared to the February 2002 level, and almost 3.8 million persons compared to February 2001.

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. They then stabilized and began rising in 2000.

Increases in participation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation nationally has risen in 27 of the last 31 months.

Participation in February 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier. In nearly half the states growth was 10 percent or more.

States with the largest increases over the one year period were: Arizona (21.4 percent), Massachusetts (20.9 percent), Tennessee (18.9 percent), South Carolina (18.3 percent), Maine (17.9 percent) and Montana (17.9 percent).

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January 2003

Food Stamp Participation Jumps in January 2003 to Almost 20.7 Million Persons; Is Almost 1.8 Million Persons Higher Than One Year Earlier

January 2003 participation data tables (pdf)

Participation in the Food Stamp Program in January 2003 (the latest data available) increased by 143,119 persons from the previous month, to 20,693,332 persons, according to FRAC’s analysis of preliminary data from USDA. The January 2003 level of Food Stamp Program participation represented a rise of almost 1.8 million persons compared to the January 2002 level, and almost 3.5 million persons compared to January 2001.

Caseloads dropped through 1998 and 1999 as the economy improved and many states failed to get food stamps to low-income families who had left cash welfare for low-paid work. They then stabilized and began rising in 2000.

Increases in participation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 likely have been driven by improved access to the program in states, and by the weakened economy.

Participation nationally has risen in 26 of the last 30 months.

Participation in January 2003 rose in 47 states and the District of Columbia compared to a year earlier.

States with the largest increases over the one year period were: Oklahoma (27.1 percent), Arizona (22.5 percent), New Mexico (20.0 percent), Tennessee (19.4 percent) and South Carolina (18.4 percent).

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