More people use food assistance in Valley than U.S. average


Aired September 9, 2013 on WYSU

Locally, more people use government assistance to buy food than the national average. Lee Murray has the story.


In the Mahoning Valley, the percentage of people using government assistance to buy food is higher than the national average. The Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the latest incarnation of the food stamps program. About 15 percent of Americans use the program to buy groceries. And in Mahoning County, 20 percent of us use the program.

Economist Tod Porter, who teaches economics at Youngtown State, says the figure reflects income in the area.

“Well eligibility for SNAP is determined by income levels and so what this is indicating is that what we have slightly higher than average percentage of the population whose incomes fall below the cutoffs for eligibility for SNAP.”

Seventeen percent of people in neighboring Trumbull County use SNAP. Across Northeast Ohio, the values vary, but all remain slightly higher than the national average.

For, I’m Lee Murray.