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Stamp of poverty falls on rural NC
Poor households include more children, seniors
 
Published Monday, August 11, 2014 11:06 am
by Stephanie Carson, N.C. News Service

RALEIGH – Oftentimes, the issue of hunger is associated with people in inner cities, where the cost of living tends to be high, but a new study shows some of the greatest need can be found where America's food supply is grown and raised.


Jon Bailey with the Center for Rural Affairs authored the report, which examines the use of food stamps, now called SNAP benefits, from 2008 to 2012.


"What we found is during that time period, more households in rural areas received SNAP benefits than did households in more urban, both metropolitan and small-city, areas," Bailey said.
In that five-year period, statistics showed more than 14 percent of rural households received SNAP benefits, compared to slightly under 11 percent of urban households. Reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show almost 1.7 million North Carolinians receive SNAP benefits.


Another key finding, said Bailey, is rural areas and small cities have higher percentages of households with seniors and children receiving food support than in larger urban areas.
"SNAP is providing a way for those people and those households to meet their food needs, which is important, because those two groups are probably most at risk of hunger and food insecurity," he said.


In rural areas, one in nine households has a SNAP recipient who is either under age 18, or 60 years of age or older. In North Carolina, the average SNAP benefit per household is just over $250 a month.

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