SNAP Series Part 3: Who uses SNAP?

When you go to the grocery store and you’re standing in line about to pay, you may not realize if the person in front of you uses their SNAP EBT card (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefits Transfer) as a form of payment.

This discrete form of payment was used by 720,088 SNAP clients in Central Florida during March 2018.  This is in addition to the 363,321 households that now have food back in their hands because of SNAP.

All together, Central Floridian received upwards of $81 million in economic impact that goes directly to small businesses, corner stores, farmers markets and retailers nationwide.

So, who uses SNAP?

Nationwide, two out of every three SNAP recipients are either children, seniors or individuals with disabilities. In 2016 for Florida:

  • 37.6% of households receiving SNAP have a child under 18
  • 29.4% were households with an elderly individual
  • 17.1% were households with an individual with disabilities
  • 18.5% were households with a single adult with children
  • 14.3% were adults between 18-49 without disabilities or without children1

Statistics on Central Floridians using SNAP available here.

It is a common misconception about who uses SNAP. Usage is often associated with minority groups but data from USDA tells a different story:

  • 34.3% of SNAP households are white, non-Hispanic/non-Latino
  • 28.3% of SNAP households are Hispanic/Latino of any race
  • 26.6% of SNAP households are African American, non-Hispanic
  • 10.8% of SNAP households are either Other, non-Hispanic/non-Latino or it is unknown2

Sources:

  1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: State Activity Report Fiscal Year 2016. Food and Nutrition Service SNAP Accountability and Administration Division, Sept. 2017, fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Characteristics2016.pdf. Page 81
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: State Activity Report Fiscal Year 2016. Food and Nutrition Service SNAP Accountability and Administration Division, Sept. 2017, fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/Characteristics2016.pdf. Page 86

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