2008 SNAP Data

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember


December 2008

SNAP/Food Stamp Participation Tops 31.7 Million in December 2008;
Ten States Register Over-Year Increases Above 20 Percent;
Recovery Package Boost in SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits Will Bring Greater Purchasing Power to Needy Families and Communities in April

December 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In December 2008, SNAP/Food Stamp participation was 31,784,453 people, the highest participation level on record, and an increase of nearly 700,000 individuals from November 2008. Previously, SNAP/Food Stamp participation peaked in September 2008, when some of the 31,586,923 participants were hurricane victims getting a temporary benefit.

All states reported increases in caseloads between December 2007 and December 2008. Ten states registered over-the-prior December percentage caseload increases above 20 percent: Idaho (30.4), Utah (29.8), Florida (28.7), Nevada (28.1), Arizona (24.3), Texas (24.1), Wisconsin (22.8), Maryland (22.0), Georgia (21.2), and Massachusetts (20.2).

A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/Food Stamps. Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 36.2 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger.

Starting in April, changes in the recently-passed economic recovery bill will result in higher benefits for most SNAP/Food Stamp and bolster the stimulative effect of SNAP/Food Stamp spending on local economies. Click here (http://frac.org/Legislative/action_center/highlights_feb09_econ_recovery.htm) for more details.

Federal, state and local governments and their private and nonprofit sector partners need to step up efforts to enroll more eligible people. Currently, one in three eligible people are missed. Implementing policies that improve program access, ensuring staff capacity to process applications, and mounting outreach campaigns to get the word out to the public can help communities maximize the federal recovery dollars available to help local families and businesses. USDA research shows that each dollar in federal SNAP/Food Stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in SNAP/Food Stamps in December 2008 was nearly 15 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade (16.8 million individuals).

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November 2008

Nearly 3.8 Million More Get SNAP/Food Stamps in November 2008 Than in November 2007
Increase Driven by Weak Economy
Vital to Get SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits to One in Three Eligible People Now Missed and to Boost the Purchasing Power of Benefits for All Participants and Local Economies

November 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In November 2008 SNAP/Food Stamp participation was 31,097,201, the second highest participation level on record. September 2008’s all-time record level of 31,586,923 included disaster food stamps for hurricane victims.

November 2008’s over-the-year growth in SNAP/Food Stamp caseloads is largely due to economic factors. As of October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program has a new national name – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp spending provides effective economic stimulus. Based on USDA research, each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. Proposals to temporarily boost Food Stamp/SNAP benefit levels have been included in Senate and House economic stimulus bills.

Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 36.2 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger. It is vital to get SNAP/Food Stamp benefits to the one in three eligible people not now served as well as to boost the purchasing power of the benefits for all recipients.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in SNAP/Food Stamps in November 2008 was 14.2 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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October 2008

Nearly 3.9 Million More Get SNAP/Food Stamps in October 2008 Than in October 2007
Increase Driven by Weak Economy and Natural Disasters
Vital to Get SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits to One in Three Eligible People Now Missed and to Boost the Purchasing Power of Benefits for All Participants and Local Economies

October 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In October 2008 SNAP/Food Stamp participation was 31,049,715, the second highest participation level on record. An end to temporary disaster aid to hurricane victims in Louisiana accounted for much of the over-the-month drop of 581,948 persons from September 2008’s all-time record level of 31,586,923. The October 2008 participation level was nearly 3.9 million persons higher than the prior October.

October 2008’s over-the-year growth in SNAP/Food Stamp caseloads is largely due to economic factors. In addition, in October 2008 temporary benefits were provided to some hurricane and flood victims in Texas and Indiana.

As of October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program has a new national name – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp spending provides effective economic stimulus. Based on USDA research, each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. Proposals to temporarily boost Food Stamp/SNAP benefit levels have been included in Senate and House economic stimulus bills.

Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 36.2 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger. It is vital to get food stamp benefits to the one in three eligible people not now served as well as to boost the purchasing power of the benefits for all recipients.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in SNAP/Food Stamps in October 2008 was 14.2 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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September 2008

Food Stamp Participation in September 2008 Tops 31.5 Million
Increase Driven by Weak Economy and Natural Disasters
Vital to Get SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits to One in Three Eligible People Now Missed and to Boost the Purchasing Power of Benefits for All Participants and Local Economies

September 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In September 2008 SNAP/Food Stamps participation rose to 31,586,934, the highest participation level on record. Participation in SNAP/Food Stamps had peaked previously in November 2005, serving 29.85 million people in the wake of three hurricanes.

The September 2008 increase was driven by economic factors, as well as by the impact of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in Louisiana and Texas. From August to September, Louisiana’s caseloads rose 231 percent as residents turned to Disaster SNAP/Food Stamp benefits. Texas also experienced an increase (10 percent) due to Hurricane Ike.

As of October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program has a new national name – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp spending provides effective economic stimulus. Based on USDA research, each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. Proposals to temporarily boost Food Stamp/SNAP benefit levels have been included in Senate and House economic stimulus bills.

Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 36.2 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger. It is vital to get food stamp benefits to the one in three eligible people not now served as well as to boost the purchasing power of the benefits for all recipients.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in SNAP/Food Stamps in September 2008 was 14.6 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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August 2008

Food Stamp Participation in August 2008 Tops 29 Million
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
Vital to Get SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits to One in Three Eligible People Now Missed and to Boost the Purchasing Power of Benefits for All Participants and Local Economies

August 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In August 2008 SNAP/Food Stamps participation rose to 29,459,946 and edged closer to peak participation rates. Participation in SNAP/Food Stamps reached a record high in November 2005, serving 29.85 million people in the wake of three hurricanes.

As of October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program has a new national name – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp spending provides effective economic stimulus. Based on USDA research, each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. Proposals to temporarily boost Food Stamp/SNAP benefit levels have been included in Senate and House economic stimulus bills and could be subject of action in a Lame Duck session in November.

Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 35 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger. It is vital to get food stamp benefits to the one in three eligible people not now served as well as to boost the purchasing power of the benefits for all recipients.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in SNAP/Food Stamps in August 2008 was 12.7 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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July 2008

Food Stamp Participation in July 2008 Tops 29 Million
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
Vital to Get Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits to One in Three Eligible People Now Missed and to Boost the Purchasing Power of Benefits for All Participants and Local Economies

July 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In July 2008 food stamp participation rose to 29,053,054, topping 29 million–for only the second time in the program?s history. Previously, the Food Stamp Program served 29.85 million people in November 2005, when more than two million hurricane victims received temporary emergency assistance. As of October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program has a new national name?the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Food stamp spending provides effective economic stimulus. Based on USDA research, each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. Proposals to temporarily boost Food Stamp/SNAP benefit levels have been included in Senate and House economic stimulus bills and could be subject of action in a Lame Duck session in November.

Even before the latest economic crisis, more than 35 million people lived in U.S. households facing a constant struggle against hunger. it is vital to get food stamp benefits to the one in three eligible people not now served as well as to boost the purchasing power of the benefits for all recipients.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in July 2008 was 12 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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June 2008

Food Stamp Participation in June 2008 Climbs by Two Million People over Previous June
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
While Almost 7 Million More Got Food Stamps than in June 2003, Many Eligible People Were Still Missed

June 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In June 2008 food stamp participation at 28,616,305 persons was up over the month by 180,464 people and over the prior June by 2,006,833 people. Nonetheless, the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. At a time when more than 35 million people in the U.S. face a constant struggle against hunger, continuing to strengthen the reach of the Food Stamp Program is vital.

The June number is close to a record number of participants for the program, exceeded only by 29.85 million in November 2005, which included those receiving emergency assistance in the wake of the hurricane season. This is the third month in a row that breaks the prior non-disaster period record of 27.97 million recipients in March 1994.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflect continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief.

Most recently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. For July 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was 10 percent or $54.80 short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket.

Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in June 2008 was 11.7 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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May 2008

Food Stamp Participation in May 2008 Sets Another Record High
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
While Almost 7 Million More Got Food Stamps than in May 2003, Many Eligible People Were Still Missed

May 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In May 2008 food stamp participation at 28,435,841 persons was up over the month by 351,715 people and over the prior May by 2,026,553 people. Nonetheless, the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. At a time when more than 35 million people in the U.S. face a constant struggle against hunger, continuing to strengthen the reach of the Food Stamp Program is vital.

The May number is close to a record number of participants for the program, exceeded only by 29.85 million in November 2005, which included those receiving emergency assistance in the wake of the hurricane season. Last month, participation surpassed the previous record high of 27.97 million recipients in March 1994.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflect continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief.

Most recently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. For June 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was 8.5 percent or $46.20 short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket. Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in May 2008 was 11.5 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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April 2008

Food Stamp Participation in April 2008 Hits Record Highs
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
While Almost 7 Million More Got Food Stamps than in April 2003, Many Eligible People Were Still Missed

April 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In April 2008 food stamp participation at 28,063,229 persons was up over the month by 184,241 people and over the prior April by 1,781,696 people. Nonetheless, the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. At a time when more than 35 million people in the U.S. face a constant struggle against hunger, continuing to strengthen the reach of the Food Stamp Program is vital.

According to FRAC’s analysis, the April participation rates are exceeded only by one month in program history – the 29.8 million recipients in November 2005 which represented a temporary spike due to emergency benefits for those affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Otherwise, the April numbers are the highest ever and surpass the March 1994 record of 27.9 million recipients.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflect continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief.

Most recently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. For May 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was 7% or over $40 short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket.

Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in April 2008 was 11.2 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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March 2008

1.5 Million More People on Food Stamps in March 2008 than in March 2007
Newest Jobless Rate Signals Growing Need
Connecting More People with Food Stamps and Temporarily Boosting Benefits Can Help Stimulate Economy and Cushion Blow on Families

March 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

New data from the federal government document a jump in food stamp caseloads and the largest monthly increase in the jobless rate since 1986 underscore the need for action to boost the economy and cushion the blow on hard hit families, according to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). “Now is the time for Congress to pass temporary increases in food stamps, extended unemployment insurance, and other targeted relief that will stimulate the economy,” said FRAC President Jim Weill.

In March 2008 food stamp participation at 27,878,875 persons rose sharply over the month (by people); compared with the prior March, participation increased by more than 1.5 million people, according to FRAC’s analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nationally the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. In March 2008 seven states registered double digit percentage caseload increases over the prior March: Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflects continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief. Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.

Currently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. “Today’s news from the U.S. Department of Labor hat the nation’s jobless rate rose in May to 5.5 percent is bad news for fighting hunger,” Weill said. “Even before this deepening unemployment more than 35 million people in the U.S. live in households that face a constant struggle against hunger.”

The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. By April 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was nearly five percent short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket.

Based on research by USDA, FRAC Legal Director Ellen Vollinger points out, each one dollar in federal food stamp benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. More background on the economic stimulative effects of food stamp spending is posted at www.realstimulus.org.

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February 2008

Food Stamp Participation in February 2008 Dipped Slightly Over Month, But Was One and a Half Million Persons Higher Than February 2007
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
Many Eligible People Were Still Missed

February 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In February 2008 food stamp participation at 27,660,139 persons dipped slightly over the month by 29,673 people but was up over the prior February by 1,507,072 people. Nationally the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. At a time when more than 35 million people in the U.S. face a constant struggle against hunger, continuing to strengthen the reach of the Food Stamp Program is vital.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflect continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief.

Most recently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. By March 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was nearly five percent short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket.

Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.
Food Stamp Program Participation Data (pdf)

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in February 2008 was 10.8 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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January 2008

Food Stamp Participation in January Up Over Month and Year
Weak Economy and Food Inflation Hit Struggling Households Hard
While Almost 7 Million More Got Food Stamps than in January 2003, Many Eligible People Were Still Missed

January 2008 participation data tables (pdf)

In January 2008 food stamp participation at 27,689,880 persons was up over the month by 128,084 people and over the prior January by 1,322,706 people. Nonetheless, the Program still is missing one in three eligible people. At a time when more than 35 million people in the U.S. face a constant struggle against hunger, continuing to strengthen the reach of the Food Stamp Program is vital.

Food Stamp Program growth in the last decade reflect continuing wage stagnation, state actions to improve access, the effects of the 2002 food stamp reauthorization implementation, and disaster relief.

Most recently, the weak economy and food price inflation are taking a toll on low-income households. The purchasing power of food stamp allotments is not keeping pace with food inflation. By February 2008, FRAC estimated, the maximum food stamp allotment for a family of four was five percent short of the amount the government estimates is needed to purchase even the minimally adequate diet outlined in the Thrifty Food Plan market basket.

Food Stamp Program growth is expected to continue, with the Congressional Budget Office predicting the FY 2009 monthly caseload will average 28 million persons.
Food Stamp Program Participation Data (pdf)

Overall Trends

The number of people participating in the Food Stamp Program in January 2008 was 10.8 million more persons than in July 2000, when program participation nationally reached its lowest point in the last decade.

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