Bringing the Economy Home

Visual Aid: Idaho’s Food Stamp Use Nearly Triples in Four Years

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Food stamp money is now distributed on EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards.

Back in November, StateImpact Idaho reported on the growing number of people using SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) commonly known as food stamps.  The program is in the news again this week after lawmakers were briefed on the data and Idaho grocery stores committed $100,000 to changing the way food stamps are distributed.

We know food stamp use is up across much of the country.  According to this study from the Urban Institute, Idaho saw its SNAP enrollment go up by 123 percent between 2007 and 2010, Nevada’s grew by 128 percent.  So what does this growth look like?  It’s pretty dramatic.

Here’s a chart showing the number of Idaho’s food stamp participants for the month of June since 2007.

Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

This second chart shows the same data, but is plotted from zero.

Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare


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