The goal of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) is to serve as a safety net for low-income families by providing assistance that will enable them purchase nutritious food. Eligibility to participate in the program is based on U.S. poverty guidelines and asset ownership of recipients. Recent welfare reform resulted in a decrease of participants in all federal welfare programs including food stamps. This paper reports results of an evaluation of county-level economic conditions and existing policy parameters that affect participation in the FSP in Tennessee and to derive implications for future policies. The results showed that there has been a significant decline in participation in the state, with a greater decline in metro counties over the same period. The trend is similar to that observed in other states. Regression analysis was performed on county-level data to identify the relationship between local economic conditions and participation in the FSP in Tennessee.


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