We updated the map on November 18, 2021, to correct an error in the code. Please see the About section below for more information.
More than 42 million Americans participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp program), but the maximum benefit falls short of a modestly priced meal in many US counties.
On October 1, 2021, the US Department of Agriculture increased the maximum SNAP benefit 21 percent when it updated the Thrifty Food Plan, which estimates the cost of a healthy, budget-conscious diet. This increase helped close the gap between SNAP benefits and meal costs, but it did not close it for everyone. Before the increase, the maximum SNAP benefit fell short of meal costs in 96 percent of US counties; after the increase, that share fell to 21 percent.
Previously, from December 2020 to September 2021, SNAP recipients received a temporary 15 percent increase as part of federal COVID-19 pandemic relief initiatives.
This map compares the maximum SNAP benefit per meal with the county-level average cost of a modestly priced meal in 2020. Use the drop-down menu to see SNAP benefits with the recent 21 percent increase, with the temporary 15 percent increase, or without an increase before December 2020. You can click on a county to zoom in or filter by Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs) to see patterns by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.