A report recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture examines the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in rural America. Widely viewed as a program that seeks to combat primarily urban poverty and food insecurity, the program has seen a greater percentage of utilization in rural areas since the late 1990s.
SNAP participation has grown exponentially, quadrupling between 2001 and 2013, and solidifying its place as the largest USDA program. This growth coincided with the Great Recession and its aftermath. Participation peaked in 2013, when more than 179,000 Nebraskans received SNAP assistance. Millions of Nebraskans were protected from the extremes of poverty in a moment of crisis.
Nationally, the same level of redemptions during this time period