Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for children 5 years and younger 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 6, or 36.5%. In December 2021, there were half as many young children with SNAP as in 2012, or 15,274 children under age 6 with SNAP. This continues the decline that occurred even during the pandemic, as there were 16,856 young children in December 2020 and 18,651 in December 2019. The percentage of children under age 6 with SNAP declined from 24.3% in 2019 to 21.9% in 2020 to 19.9% in December 2021.

The rate of SNAP use for children under age 6 varies by county in 2021 from a high of 29% for Somerset, Aroostook and Oxford in to a low of 13.4% -13.6% in Sagadahoc, 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 known as 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 based on population data from the Office of Vital Statistics.

Data Source: Maine DHHS Office of Family Independence Reports

Footnotes: Data represents enrollments in SNAP as of December of those years.

Updated: April 2022.