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USDA 2013 STAT: CHILDREN ARE 44% OF SNAP PARTICIPANTS
Source: USDA news release

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is USDA's largest food and nutrition assistance program.

In an average month in fiscal 2014, the program provided 46.5 million low-income Americans with benefits to purchase food at authorized food stores.

In fiscal 2013 (the latest year for which demographic data are available), adults age 18-59 accounted for 46.4 percent of participants, young children (birth to age 4) accounted for 14.3 percent of participants, school-age children (5-17 years) accounted for 30.1 percent of participants, and the elderly accounted for 9.3 percent of participants.

The composition of SNAP participants has shifted over the past decade, particularly after the 2007-09 recession, as more working-age adults became eligible for the program and applied for benefits.

Adults' share of the SNAP caseload increased from 42.1 percent of participants in 2006, while young children's share of the SNAP caseload fell from 16.6 percent in 2006, and school-age children's share fell from 32.7 percent.

Elderly participants' share of the SNAP caseload increased slightly from 8.7 percent in fiscal 2006. This chart is from ERS's data product, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.



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