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Abstract

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the cornerstone of federal food assistance programs and serves as the first line of defense against food insecurity. SNAP is especially important in the south which has the highest rate of food insecurity in the U.S. In fiscal year 2010, SNAP accounted for 71.5% of federal spending for primary food and nutrition assistance to low income households in the U.S. In 2010, monthly SNAP participation averaged 40.3 million persons, up 43% in two years mainly due to the recession of 2007-2009. This paper examines the relationship between food insecurity, the recession, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Georgia, 2009 and 2010. Factors associated with the rise in the number of person eligible for SNAP benefits at the county level included the unemployment rate, education, the percentage of African Americans in the county, and the poverty rate.

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