Differences in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Program participation among Oklahoma counties





SNAP, Welfare, Supplemental Nutrition, Food Insecurity, Food Assistance, Reducing Hunger, Poverty


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded and state adminis­tered program to combat food insecurity. Analyz­ing factors in SNAP participation is important to understanding consumption in food systems and supporting community development. As of 2019, 565,900 Oklahomans participate in the SNAP pro­gram, approximately 84% of those eligible for the program. This leads to two questions: why do those who are eligible participate, and how can we better reach those who do not? We analyzed county-level SNAP participation among the income-eligible to identify explanatory characteris­tics of SNAP usage. Data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) and the U.S. Census Bureau were used to perform a regression analysis on 12 variables, such as store access and number of dependents. The percentage of house­holds with children under 18 and the unemploy­ment rate are associated with increases in SNAP participation among those eligible. Store access and rurality are associated with a decline in SNAP usage. These findings will aid policymakers, SNAP administrators, and outreach education groups in improving program participation by targeting groups susceptible to food insecurity and with low SNAP usage who could benefit from participation.


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Author Biographies

Mckenzie Carvalho, Oklahoma State University

Undergraduate Student, Department of Agricultural Economics. Mckenzie is now a master’s student in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University.

Amy Hagerman, Oklahoma State University

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics

Phil Kenkel, Oklahoma State University

Regents Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics

Dave Shideler, Oklahoma State University

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics. Dave is now the Chief Research Officer at Heartland Forward, Bentonville, Arkansas.



How to Cite

Carvalho, M., Hagerman, A., Kenkel, P., & Shideler, D. (2022). Differences in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Program participation among Oklahoma counties. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(3), 229–239. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2022.113.007