Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Tool to Find SNAP Community Characteristics

US Congressional Districts colorFrom our friends at the USDA.
FNS has created a new online tool to help partners like you identify and analyze the characteristics of SNAP in your community. The SNAP Community Characteristics webpage allows users to search for fact sheets by Congressional District. The tool looks at demographic data of all households in the district and then does some comparison of those on SNAP versus those who are not. Demographics presented include: age groups, poverty level, race/ethnicity, median income, and work status. Also included is the total amount of SNAP funds, total recipients and SNAP participation rate for each State.

Many facts can be gleaned from this tool. For example, most SNAP households have working adults, and a majority also have children. In some districts, one may find that there are more demographic similarities than differences between SNAP households and non-SNAP households, except income level.

This resource will be useful to local communities wanting to see their data at a smaller geographic area than previously available. The fact sheets also show the general makeup of each district and have a SNAP/non-SNAP household comparison. Combined with the amount of cash flow into the State from SNAP funds, the reports tell the story of a community’s food security. Communities will be able to use this information in their advocacy work, programming, and even grant writing.

To view the tool, go to: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/SNAPCharacteristics/default.htm.

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