SNAP Access in Urban America: A City-by-City Snapshot

Source: Food Research and Action Center, January 2011

From the press release:
The number of SNAP/Food Stamp participants in American cities increased an average of 18.6 percent from May 2009 to May 2010, according to a new survey of 22 large urban areas conducted by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). As the recession increased need, the SNAP/Food Stamp program was very responsive. In SNAP Access in Urban America: A City-by-City Snapshot, however, FRAC found considerable variation among surveyed cities, both on rates of caseload increases in 2010 and on the degree to which cities were serving needy residents prior to the deepening of the recession. In December 2008, 76 percent of eligible people in the surveyed cities participated in the program; participation ranged from below 50 percent in San Diego and Denver to more than 90 percent in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Miami. Other findings from the report include:

– As of May 2010 in the 22 urban areas, approximately 7.8 million people were receiving SNAP/Food Stamps. This was an increase of 1.3 million individuals from the previous May, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the recession.
– Compared to the previous FRAC Urban SNAP/Food Stamp report, participation rates among low-income people increased in nearly all the surveyed cities from 2007 to 2008, showing early progress made by states, cities and nonprofit partners to improve outreach efforts and application processes. The jumps in caseloads in 2009 and 2010 in these cities reflect continued efforts and improvements, as well as the deepening of the recession.

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