Report: Most Families Getting Federal Food Aid Have Employed Members

Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 2:00pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 3:42pm

New data show how many working families count on federal funds to help put food on their tables.

The U.S. Census Bureau said 79 million families received SNAP benefits at some point in 2018. That’s 12% of families. In Arizona, it was 10.5%. New Mexico had the highest percentage of families followed by West Virginia while Wyoming had the lowest.

Of the families that received benefits, more than three-quarters had at least one person employed and about one-third had two people working. About one in four SNAP households included a married couple.

SNAP benefits,formerly known as food stamps, are given on what looks like a debit card, which is used to buy food. 

In 2018, the Bureau reported about one-third of SNAP households included at least one person 60 years or older and almost half of SNAP households had a child under 18. 

The data counts a family as a householder (someone who owns or pays the rent) who lives with others related to them by birth, marriage or adoption. Non-family households are not included in this analysis.

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