Rural America has more SNAP beneficiaries

Aug 11, 2014


The stereotype of social safety net programs has often been that they mostly serve urban minority populations. However, a new report looks at people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits  (formerly known as food stamps) by where they live, and the results show are surprising according to the Center for Rural Affairs.

The study revealed that rural areas have a higher percentage of households receiving SNAP than both metropolitan and micropolitan (small city) areas.  Combined together, rural areas and small city micropolitan areas have 3.6 percent of their households with a SNAP recipient 60 or older and 7.5 percent of their households with children under 18 receiving SNAP benefits.

These findings are critical for rural families as they show SNAP is a necessary facet of everyday life for many rural families and households, especially those where seniors and children reside. One in nine rural households contains a SNAP recipient who is either 60 years old or older or a child under 18.

SNAP is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture offering nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families.  It is the largest domestic hunger safety net program. 

Further details regarding the study are available from the Center for Rural Affairs.