LiveStories

The State of SNAP

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spiked during the Great Recession. So did the amount of benefits each participant received. SNAP benefits last 3 months at a time, after which participants must resubmit their applications. During the depths of the Recession, more people have stayed on SNAP for longer, and the federal government temporarily increased the program's monthly benefits. In addition, some states loosened requirements for eligibility.

Both participation and per capita benefits costs have been trending downward as the economy has recovered, but remain well above their pre-Recession levels. Explore the data by state below.

SNAP Participation and Costs in Washington

Benefit cost per household has declined from its peak, but remains elevated above pre-Recession levels. 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in 2009, increased monthly SNAP benefits by roughly 13.6% (pdf). This benefit increase expired in 2013.