Children 5 years and younger receiving SNAP benefits

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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 declined from 2012 to 2016, but had an uptick in 2017 to 21,243 and 27.2% of the population of children 5 & under. The rate of use of SNAP in children under age 6 varies by county from a high of 38-40% in Washington and Somerset Counties to a low of 18%-20% in Cumberland County and Sagadahoc County in 2017.
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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 Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Independence.

Footnotes: Data for 2003 through 2017 represent enrollments in December of those years.

Most recent data upload: April 2018.