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N.D. Participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Increases

In 2010, $95 million in SNAP benefits were distributed to North Dakota participants, up 19 percent from $80 million 2009.

An average of 59,888 North Dakotans participated in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) per month in fiscal year 2010 (preliminary data as of Dec. 2, 2010). The participation rate is up 13 percent from the 53,070 monthly average in 2009.

“The apparent contradiction between the state’s growing and robust economy and the increase in SNAP recipients is an important reminder that many families still are struggling in North Dakota,” says Richard Rathge, North Dakota State Data Center director. The center is at North Dakota State University. “What is particularly noteworthy is the fact that nearly half of SNAP recipients are children.”

Nationally, participation in SNAP increased 20 percent from 2009 to 2010.

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

As of Oct. 1, 2008, SNAP became the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. The new name reflects changes made to the program, including a focus on nutrition and an increase in benefit amounts.

In 2010, $95 million in SNAP benefits were distributed to North Dakota participants, up 19 percent from $80 million 2009. The federal stimulus legislation signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, increased SNAP benefits by 13.6 percent in North Dakota in April 2009, according to Sheila Peterson, North Dakota stimulus coordinator.

“Absent the stimulus legislation, SNAP benefits per participant would have decreased in fiscal year 2009 by 0.95 percent and been held flat in fiscal year 2010,” Peterson says.

On average, each SNAP participant in North Dakota received $132 per month in fiscal year 2010, which was an increase of 6 percent from $125 in 2009. Nationally, participants each received an average of $134 per month in 2010, which was up 7 percent from $125 in 2009.

Hawaii reported the highest average monthly payment at $216 in 2010, while Wisconsin had the lowest at $116.

During an average month, SNAP recipients amounted to 9 percent of North Dakota’s total population in 2010. Nationally, participants were 13 percent of the total population.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Jan. 18, 2011

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
Supplemental Assistance by State Preview
(Supplemental Assistance by State.pdf - 375.82 Kb)
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