A University of New Hampshire study finds that while poverty rates stabilized after the recession, recipients of the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, continued to rise.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Carsey Institute.
In 2011, 13 percent of American households relied on SNAP, a program formerly known as food stamps. That’s compared to roughly 8 percent in 2007.
Researcher Jessica Carson says it’s difficult to speculate why participation in the program went up while poverty remained stable.
“Maybe they used up their savings and maybe they’ve depended on friends and family for loans and for help, different means of assistance, and now these families are finally turning to their last resort, which would be the federal social safety net.”
The study finds that the highest rate of participation is in central cities, followed by rural areas.