11.30.2011 Policy Points

Food Insecurity In North Carolina

Louisa Warren of the NC Budget and Tax Center documents the extent of food insecurity present in North Carolina and explains the role that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has played in helping families and the larger economy during the “Great Recession.” From the report…

The number of individuals receiving food assistance through North Carolina’s Food & Nutrition Services has nearly doubled since the Great Recession started in December 2007 (increase of 94.6 percent). The state has added more than 870,000 Tar Heels to its food assistance program – a little more than the population of Charlotte, North Carolina. As of September 2011, nearly 1 in 5 North Carolinians received food assistance.

At the local level, the number of persons in households receiving food stamps has grown in every county since the recession began. Urban counties have seen the greatest numbers of people enroll in the food stamps program, but rural areas have seen the deepest change in relative terms. The five counties with the largest percentage increases in their food stamp participation rates—at least quadrupling from September 2007 to September 2011—are Dare, Jones, Pender, Gates, and Duplin. Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Wake counties all nearly doubled their food stamp participation rates and have the highest numbers of individuals enrolled in the program.

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