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Food Stamp Participation Up in All but Three States

Participation in the Food Stamp Program (renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2008 Farm Act) grew nationally by 24.5 percent between fiscal years 2003 and 2007. Participation declined in three States during this period: Wyoming and Hawaii, down nearly 11 percent each; and Louisiana, down 1 percent. Massachusetts and Iowa saw the largest increases in participation, 56 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Factors that affect State-level participation include economic conditions, such as unemployment and housing costs, demographic composition of State residents, and State policies that aid or hinder participation.