Food stamp use in NWA climbing during recession

Northwest Arkansas leads the state in the increase of use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, according to a county-level analysis by The New York Times.

The data show that since 2007, food stamp use has increased in Benton County by 38 percent and in Washington County by 27 percent. While the Delta counties still lead the state in the number of people using the nutrition assistance, new enrollment in the program has declined in many Delta counties in the past two years.

In Central Arkansas, Pulaski County has seen an 11 percent increase, while neighboring counties have experienced much higher growth: Saline County with a 26 percent increase, Perry County with a 22 percent increase, Faulkner with a 20 percent increase and Lonoke County with a 22 percent increase.

The accompanying article notes that many of the new food stamp applicants are the recently unemployed and many are getting by with no other cash assistance.

Click on the “children” filter on the map and note that the number of children using food stamps is in the double digits in every Arkansas county, with more than half of children using food stamps in some Delta counties.