State based cash equivalent nutrition assistance programs are a critical buffer for families struggling with food access. In 2020, WV DHHR disbursed $587,930,058 to low income households across the state through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The program is a vital source of income for food retailers and a major economic multiplier for our the state's economy.
SNAP provides monthly food dollars to qualifying households, who redeem them at private retail outlets. At an average of $1.40 per meal, SNAP rarely covers a household's food budget for the month. Many households struggle with the so called "cliff effect" which limits opportunities for workers and employers alike.
In January 2020, 288,733 people participated in the program, 186,857 adults and 101,876 children. The average benefit per household was $219.26.
By December 2020, 10,000 additional people relied on SNAP to make ends meet increasing total disbursements by DHHR to over $55 million per month. Interact with the map below to engage with data about enrollment changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic at the county level.
% SNAP population (December 2020)
Source: WV DHHR
Author: WVU Center for Resilient Communtiies
Note: Brooke County reports with Hancock due to an office consolidation