Nutrition Assistance

Description of Indicator
The nutrition assistance indicator is described as the total number of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps. The allocation of food stamps among recipients depends on a variety of household factors such as size, monthly income, disability status, or an individual 60 years old or older.

Why is it important?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, 1.88 million residents statewide receive assistance from the SNAP program. SNAP or food stamps provide relief for low-income households when purchasing nutritious food options at grocery stores and supermarkets. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is a critical part of the program to inform recipients that increasing healthy meal intake and daily physical activity prevents long-term diseases.

How is the region performing?
From 2020 to 2022, the proportion of households receiving food stamps remained relatively the same in the three counties and statewide. Overall, a higher percentage of households in Luzerne County received food stamps than the other areas analyzed. In 2022, there was a slight increase in households receiving food stamps in all counties and Pennsylvania compared to the prior year.