Analysis: 18.9% of Southern Illinois residents enrolled in food stamp program
About 6,193 Southwest Illinois residents – or about 18.9 percent of the region’s population – were on food stamp rolls in January 2017, according to a Southwest Illinois News analysis of 66 Illinois welfare offices.
Randolph County serves 0.33 percent of Illinois food stamp recipients, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. That’s slightly higher than the portion of the state’s population the county represents. About 0.26 percent of the 12.8 million people in Illinois reside in Randolph.
Illinois welfare offices are operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services, formerly known as the Illinois Department of Public Aid. It administers SNAP at offices in 52 of the state’s 102 counties, so residents in a county without an office would travel to one with an office.
Those 52 counties account for about 92 percent of the state’s population. This may, in part, account for why the portion SNAP participants in a given county is higher than the portion of Illinois residents living in that county.
Breakdown of food stamp recipients in Southwest Illinois
|Office location||County population||Recipients population January 2017||County as portion of state population||County recipients as portion of state SNAP participants|