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BALTIMORE, August 9, 2017 — A new tool released today shows that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) in rural and small town counties in Maryland is higher than the rate in metro areas, according to SNAP Maps, a new interactive data tool released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC, a national anti-hunger advocacy group).
FRAC’s SNAP Maps provide household participation rates by county in each state, and by state. Counties are grouped into one of three categories: Metro, Small Town, and Rural. On average in the years 2011-2015, 10.9 percent of households in Maryland received SNAP benefits. Baltimore City and Somerset County had the highest overall SNAP household participation rate, both exceeding 25 percent. The total rate for metro counties in the state was 10.8 percent, while SNAP participation for households in rural counties was 16 percent.
“Maryland residents in rural communities, small towns, and metro areas alike rely on SNAP, also known as the Food Supplement Program, to get the nutrition they need when they fall on hard times and cannot afford enough food,” said Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions. “SNAP provides a path out of hunger and poverty for over 700,000 Marylanders. It is one of the very best investments in our local communities.”
Both the president’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget and the House Budget Committee’s FY 2018 budget resolution propose dramatic cuts to this proven, effective program. Such cuts would have a devastating impact on children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, working families, and others across Maryland. In Maryland, 41 percent of SNAP households include children, and 80 percent have one or more working members.
“It’s important that Maryland’s federal and state policymakers have real information about the important role SNAP plays in lifting and keeping people out of hunger and poverty,” said Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions.
The maps are based on American Community Survey (ACS) five-year data (2011–2015). Accompanying the SNAP Maps are interactive, searchable tables that allow users to compare household SNAP participation by both county and state.
Accompanying the SNAP Maps, FRAC released state factsheets — using the 2011–2015 ACS data — that depict statewide percentages of households on SNAP in metro, small town, and rural counties, and analyze each state’s share of SNAP households with children, families with working members, and those participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
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About Maryland Hunger Solutions
Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger in the state of Maryland.