SNAP average monthly participation and annual spending increased following recessions

Combination bar and line chart showing number of SNAP recipients, spending on SNAP benefits, and recession periods from 2000 to 2022.

Participation in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, but not enough to account for sharp increases in spending in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Increases in maximum benefit amounts and the issuance of emergency allotments largely contributed to the rise in spending during those years.

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