We ask questions about a household's receipt of Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to create statistics about participation in food assistance programs.
Food Stamp/SNAP data are used in planning and funding government programs that provide food assistance and in evaluating other government programs.
We use your confidential survey answers to create statistics like those in the results below and in the full tables that contain all the data—no one is able to figure out your survey answers from the statistics we produce. The Census Bureau is legally bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Individual records are not shared with anyone, including federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone—not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency.
We ask one question about receiving benefits from the food stamp/SNAP program to better understand food assistance program needs.
The results from this question are compiled to provide communities with important statistics about housing characteristics. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
We want to know more about food assistance program participation in combination with school enrollment, income, and poverty status, to help communities streamline administration of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. With this information we can replace administrative paperwork with American Community Survey estimates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
Information about food-assistance program participation is used to evaluate the SNAP program and award bonuses to communities that successfully administer SNAP funds.
State and local agencies use these statistics to assess state food assistance needs and participation rates for eligible families and individuals and to determine gaps in services and programs. Faith-based and other nonprofit organizations use information about food assistance needs to determine where food banks, food kitchens, and other programs could be beneficial and how the needs of their communities can be met with additional resources and services.
The Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) question originated with the ACS in 2005.