16% of Rhode Island’s population now receiving food stampsNovember 2nd, 2011 at 12:38 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
As of August, 15.7% of Rhode Island’s population – 165,753 residents – was signed up for the benefits, now known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). That’s up 12% from a year earlier, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.
Nearly 15% of the U.S. population, or 45.8 million Americans, received food stamps in August. Mississippi had the highest participation at more than 21%. It was one of five states with at least one in five residents on food stamps. The federal government pays for the program.
Food stamp use is more prevalent in Rhode Island than in Massachusetts (12.7%) and Connecticut (10.8%) but below the level in Maine (18.9%), which has the highest participation in New England.
After lagging in the past, Rhode Island has moved aggressively in recent years to make sure eligible residents actually sign up for the food stamp program. To find out more, read this WPRI.com story from 2010, when nearly 14% of Rhode Islanders were on food stamps.