One important measure of a program’s performance is the ability to reach its target population. 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 2009 and in the two 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 72 percent (Leftin, 2011) in fiscal year 2009. The participation rate for eligible working poor individuals was significantly lower (in a statistical sense) at 60 percent.
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