Differences in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Program participation among Oklahoma counties
Keywords:SNAP, Welfare, Supplemental Nutrition, Food Insecurity, Food Assistance, Reducing Hunger, Poverty
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded and state administered program to combat food insecurity. Analyzing factors in SNAP participation is important to understanding consumption in food systems and supporting community development. As of 2019, 565,900 Oklahomans participate in the SNAP program, approximately 84% of those eligible for the program. This leads to two questions: why do those who are eligible participate, and how can we better reach those who do not? We analyzed county-level SNAP participation among the income-eligible to identify explanatory characteristics of SNAP usage. Data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) and the U.S. Census Bureau were used to perform a regression analysis on 12 variables, such as store access and number of dependents. The percentage of households with children under 18 and the unemployment rate are associated with increases in SNAP participation among those eligible. Store access and rurality are associated with a decline in SNAP usage. These findings will aid policymakers, SNAP administrators, and outreach education groups in improving program participation by targeting groups susceptible to food insecurity and with low SNAP usage who could benefit from participation.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Mckenzie Carvalho, Amy Hagerman, Phil Kenkel, Dave Shideler
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