hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United States Department of Agriculture using Archive-It. This page was captured on 07:18:16 Mar 10, 2012, and is part of the USDA Economic Research Service collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Amber Waves cover, November 2008
Amber Waves: The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America

November 2008

| United States Department of Agriculture | Economic Research Service
Search   GO!  
Current Issue
All Issues
spacer Amber Waves Home
  Feature Articles


  About Amber Waves
  E-mail notices

Farm Bill Resources

ERS Newsroom


USDA's Economic Research Service

Ad: Print Edition
Click here to subscribe to Amber Waves
Read more about our awards



Print this page Print | E-mail this link E-mail | Bookmark & Share Bookmark/share | Translate this page Translate | Text only Text only | resize text smallresize text mediumresize text large

Statistics Heading

In the Long Run

How Much Does Participation in the Food Stamp Program Reflect Economic Trends?

Participation in the Food Stamp Program (renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2008 Farm Act) follows trends in poverty and unemployment, but cycles for the three are not completely in sync. In the 1980s, the number of food stamp participants peaked before the number of people in poverty and the number of people unemployed. But since 1989, the pattern has reversed, with food stamp participation peaking 2-3 years after the unemployment peak and 1 year after the poverty peak. Between 2003 and 2007, participation in the Food Stamp Program grew by 24.5 percent, and the number of people in poverty rose by 3.9 percent, while the number of people unemployed declined by 19 percent.

Chart: Food stamp participants, people in poverty, and unemployed people, 1980-2007

printer iconPrinter-friendly format Get all Indicators in PDF format