This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to examine rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receipt in 2012, track changes since the onset of the recession, and monitor receipt by region and place type. It also explores changes in SNAP receipt among households that may be at particular risk for food insecurity and considers rates among some less traditionally at-risk populations, exploring changes in their rates of receipt over time.

Author Jessica Carson writes that reports of SNAP receipt in 2012 increased among populations at particular risk for food insecurity, including households with children, seniors, the poor, and householders with a disability, as well as populations less often considered at risk, including married couples and households without children. Despite increased reliance on SNAP, the program is presently facing substantial cuts in the U.S. House and Senate in the coming weeks. Carson concludes that any cuts to program funding should consider the vulnerable populations that have increasingly relied on these benefits in a tenuous economy where the social safety net is already frail.

Publication Date



National Issue Brief No. 66


Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2013. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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