Children 5 years and younger receiving SNAP benefits in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food to children who live in families with low incomes. The numbers fluctuate with the economy and also with changes in eligibility.
Children who live in families who have sufficient food are said to have low food insecurity. This is associated with better outcomes in school and general health.

What the data shows
The number of children ages 5 & under receiving SNAP statewide peaked in 2012 at 30,797 children under age 5, or 36.5%. In December 2020, it was 16,856 or 21.9% of children 5 years old and younger. This is a 45% reduction and the lowest rate of SNAP utilization since 2010. The rate of SNAP  use for children under age 6 varies by county in 2020 from a high of 32% for Washington, Piscataquis and Oxford in to a low of 13% in  Sagadahoc County and 15%- 16% in Cumberland and York Counties.
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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number and percent of children ages 0-5 who were receiving SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) in December of each calendar year. Note: State totals include children whose county is unknown, who are not Maine residents, or who are not in state. The numerator is the number of children under age 6 who received SNAP in December and the denominator is the number of children under age 6.

Data Source: Maine DHHS Office of Family Independence Reports

Footnotes: Data for 2003 through 2020 represent enrollments in SNAP as of December of those years.

Updated: June 2021