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17% of Arizonans on food stamps

More than 1.1 million Arizona residents—more than 17 percent of the state's population—are receiving food assistance from the government. 1,123,333 Arizonans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a jump of 7.2 percent over the past year.
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5 comments on this story

Nov 20, 2011, 5:36 pm
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This is a little confusing. Are “SNAP” and “food stamps” synonymous? Or are food stamp recipients a subset of SNAP recipients? The numbers seem to indicate that, but there’s no clear explanation of the difference, if there is one.

Nov 21, 2011, 12:32 pm
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@Roberto De Vido

“SNAP” is bureaucratese for “food stamps.”

Nov 21, 2011, 1:49 pm
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That was the sense I got, but the statistics are confusing, e.g. “Almost 12 percent of households nationwide are receiving food stamps, the Census Bureau said Thursday. Recent data from the Agriculture Department, which runs the program, show that up to 15 percent of households in the country may be on SNAP.”

If food stamps = SNAP, why are the numbers different?

Similarly, “The state with the largest percentage on food relief: Oregon, with 18 percent of its population on SNAP. Louisiana, New Mexico and Tennessee each have one in five residents on food stamps.”

If Oregon has the largest percentage at 18%, how can the other states have a larger percentage (20%)?

Nov 21, 2011, 1:58 pm
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The Census data was through August, while data from Ag show that the number may be even higher.

The sentence about LA, NM & TN should probably have had a “nearly” in it.

As with most near-term gov’t statistics, these are essentially estimates. It takes a while to sort out exact figures; generally 12-18 months.

Nov 21, 2011, 2:10 pm
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Gotcha ... I’ll write to the editor to tell him to clean up those confusing passages. ;-)

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