Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Understanding the Determinants of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has a strong interest in understanding why some eligible households choose to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and some do not. In addition to improving outreach approaches, an understanding of the circumstances and factors that contribute to an eligible household’s decision to participate in the program will inform the methodology for developing appropriate comparison groups for assessing SNAP outcomes. Because of ethical and legal considerations, FNS cannot examine the effect of participation in SNAP on outcomes such as food security
through experimental studies that would require withholding benefits from those eligible. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify whether regression modeling of extant data could yield adequate comparison groups to assess SNAP outcomes.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2008

In an average month in 2008, about 28.4 million people living in 12.7 million households participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States. SNAP households are a diverse group. Because benefits are available to most low-income households with few resources, regardless of age, disability status, or family structure, recipients represent a broad cross-section of the Nation's poor. This report provides information about the demographic and economic circumstances of SNAP households in fiscal year 2008. Annual quality control data used to produce this report can be found using the link below.

Annual SNAP Quality Control Data

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2007

This report – the latest in an annual series – presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during an average month in fiscal year 2007 and in the 2 previous fiscal years. This report also presents estimates of State participation rates for eligible “working poor” individuals (persons in households with earnings) over the same period. Although SNAP provides an important support for working families, the working poor have participated at rates that are substantially below those for all eligible persons. The addition of State-by-State information on participation among the working poor enables a comparison of these rates to the overall participation rates. Nationally, the SNAP participation rate among all eligible persons was 66 percent in fiscal year 2007. The participation rate for eligible working poor individuals was 56 percent, a significant (in a statistical sense) difference of 10 percentage point.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Trends in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates: 2000 to 2007

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income individuals purchase food so that they can obtain a nutritious diet. One important measure of Program performance is the ability to reach its target population, as indicated by the fraction of people eligible for benefits who actually participate. This report is the latest in a series on SNAP participation rates. Estimates are based on the March 2008 Current Population Survey and program administrative data for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007. The findings represent national participation rates for FY 2007.