Food stamp usage in St. Lawrence County increased during recession, but is lower than state average, report says
Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 5:16 pm

The use of food stamps in St. Lawrence County increased during the recession, but is lower than the state average, according to recent research.

The proportion of county residents receiving food stamps hit 14.7 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services. That’s an increase of 4.8 percentage points since 2007, the year the recession started.

The information is included in data compiled by Roberto Gallardo, an associate professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, who recently released research on nationwide food stamp use that included local breakdowns, including St. Lawrence County.

St. Lawrence County's food stamp usage rate is lower than the state rate, according to the research.

Across New York, 15.7 percent of residents in 2011 received support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as the food stamp program is officially known. Nationally, 14.8 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits.

Places like St. Lawrence County, which are located outside metropolitan areas, tend to have a higher percentage of the population receiving SNAP benefits. That’s because incomes are generally lower in nonmetropolitan counties.

The inflation-adjusted median household income in St. Lawrence County in 2011 was $44,131, compared to the New York median of $57,116. Nationally, median household income was $52,306 in 2011.

In 2011, residents of the county received a combined $27,690,831 in SNAP benefits.