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Number of Food Stamp Recipients in North Dakota Increased in 2007

Nearly $52 million in food stamp benefits were distributed to North Dakota participants in fiscal year 2007.

North Dakota participation in the federal Food Stamp Program averaged 45,122 people per month in fiscal year 2007 (based on preliminary data as of Jan. 30, 2008). The participation rate is up 6 percent, compared with the 42,576 monthly average for 2006. Nationally, participation in the Food Stamp Program decreased 0.7 percent between 2006 and 2007.

To participate in the program, households may not have more than $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account ($3,000 if at least one person in the household is age 60 or older or disabled). Certain resources, such as a home or lot, are not counted. Special rules are used to determine the resource value of vehicles.

The gross monthly income of most households must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines ($1,799 per month for a family of three in most places). There are some allowable deductions, such as child care, some shelter costs and other expenses. In addition, most able-bodied adult participants must meet certain work requirements.

This month’s “Economic Brief,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on the average monthly participation in the federal Food Stamp Program, along with the average monthly benefit per participant. The data were obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

Nearly $52 million in food stamp benefits were distributed to North Dakota participants in fiscal year 2007, up 12.3 percent from 2006.

“A large portion of our food stamp budget goes to children,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “For fiscal year 2007, nearly 47 percent of all food stamp recipients were 18 years old or younger.”

On average, Food Stamp Program participants in North Dakota each received $95.83 per month in fiscal year 2007, which is an increase of 5.9 percent from $90.47 in 2006. Nationally, participants each received an average of $95.64 per month in 2007, up 1.4 percent from $94.32 in 2006.

In an average month, food stamp recipients were 7.1 percent of North Dakota’s total population in 2007. In general, the state’s rural counties had the lowest proportion of food stamp recipients, while the counties with Native American reservations, which have a high poverty rate, had the highest. Nationwide, participants were 8.8 percent of the total population in 2007.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu


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