Food Access and SNAP
Template

For millions of American families, low incomes and low access to well-stocked grocery stores—alone or in combination—result in food insecurity. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a lifeline to many of these families. 

The first two charts on this template are based on data from the USDA's Food Access Research Atlas, which measures food access on a census-tract level. The third chart is based on SNAP data from the American Community Survey (Table B2203).  The charts show counts of  households in each census tract with the given characteristics.  

Vulnerable Households: Low Food Access, No Vehicle

Whether a vehicle is available to a household for private use is an important additional indicator of access to healthy and affordable food. 

—U.S. Department of Agriculture

This map, based on USDA data, shows the number of households with both low food access and no vehicle available. 

Note: The USDA's data includes three different metrics for what counts as "low food access." Each of the three metrics, in turn, includes two distinct definitions for low access—one for urban areas, and one for rural. You can toggle between the three metrics by editing the charts and changing the filters.  

SNAP-Beneficiary Households with Low Food Access

This map, based on USDA data, shows households with low food access that receive SNAP benefits. Recipients of SNAP are provided an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. Each month, the card’s value is replenished. Eligible foods include typical groceries. Non-eligible items include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, pet foods, soaps, and medicine.

Note: The USDA's data includes three different metrics for what counts as "low food access." Each of the three metrics, in turn, includes two distinct definitions for low access—one for urban areas, and one for rural. You can toggle between the three metrics by editing the charts and changing the filters.  

Households in Poverty, but No SNAP Benefits

This map, based on data from the American Community Survey, shows households below the federal poverty line that do not receive SNAP benefits. 

SNAP eligibility varies by state. Under federal law, the baseline SNAP eligibility requirements include:

• Gross monthly income must be lower than 130 percent of the federal poverty level.

• Net income, or household income after deductions are applied, must be at or below the poverty line.

• Other assets must total less than $2,250, or $3,500 for households with elderly or disabled members.