Index: Economy / Subcategory: Individual

Food Stamps

Date updated: 01/20/2013

The Food Stamp Program is a nationally available benefit of the United States Department of Agriculture. It is designed to help individuals and families meet a portion of their food costs. Eligibility is based on both income and resource tests that are set by the federal government. Residents who do not qualify for monthly cash assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF) may still be eligible for food stamp benefits.

As of Oct. 1, 2008, the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The new name reflects the changes made to meet the needs of clients, including a focus on nutrition and an increase in benefit amounts. Colorado's food stamp program is administered by the Department of Human Services and is called Colorado Food Assistance Program.

What this chart shows: Food Stamp Applications Received in Larimer County, 2006-2012

Data Source: Larimer County Dept. of Human Services (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

The number of food stamp applications in Larimer County increased 92.8% between 2006 and 2012, with the peak occurring in 2012. It is widely assumed the struggling economy and higher than normal unemployment rates are responsible for the increased demand for food stamps.

What this chart shows: Number of Households Receiving Food Stamps in Larimer County, 2006-2012

Data Source: Larimer County Dept. of Human Services (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

The average number of households (defined as a distinct group of people who eat together) receiving food stamps increased 112.8% between 2006 and 2012. Although the number of applications for food stamps decreased 7.9% between 2009 and 2010, the number of households receiving benefits increased 22.3% during the same time period.

What this chart shows: Average Monthly Food Stamp Benefit for the United States, Colorado, & Larimer County, 2012

Data Sources:

See data table

What the above data tell us:

The average monthly benefit in Larimer County was greater than in the United States, but less than in Colorado. Larimer County food stamp recipients saw a 2.7% decrease in the average monthly benefit between 2011 and 2012. In comparison, the monthly benefits in the U.S. decreased 2.1% and 4.1% in Colorado.

The criteria for the amount recipients receive in benefits are the same throughout Colorado. Variables determining benefit amounts include household size, income, and housing cost, based on statewide averages. For example, a household of one, with no income, would receive the same monthly food stamp benefits, regardless of whether they lived in Fort Collins, Pueblo or Vail.

The amount of the benefit an applicant receives is determined by: 1) family size [see Family Size, Household Size, & Household Composition], 2) income [see Per Capita Income], and 3) housing costs [see Home Ownership/Affordable Housing].

What this chart shows: Monthly Expedited Food Stamp Applications in Larimer County, 2006-2012

Data Source: Larimer County Dept. of Human Services (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

'Expedited Issuances' of food stamps are provided to households with limited income and no cash resources when it is expected they will not be able to meet basic shelter expenses of rent/mortgage and utility bills in the next month. This figure is a strong indicator of the number of people who have lost jobs in the prior month. (See the data table for monthly statistics.) Note the significant increase in the last half of 2008, as the effects of the recession were more apparent.

In 2010, the number of residents applying for expedited food stamps decreased slightly over 2009. However, the numbers remain double what they were in 2006 and 2007, prior to the recession and have continually increased.

What this chart shows: Food Stamp Recipients by Age in Larimer County, 2009-2012

Data Source: Larimer County Dept. of Human Services (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Since 2009, the number of children under the age of 18 receiving food stamps increased 114.6%, compared to an increase of 60.7% for adults between 18 and 59 years of age, and 244.3% for seniors over the age of 60.

Additional Information:

Related Information on COMPASS -

Other Resources -

Standards or Targets: N/A

Data Tables:

Food Stamp Applications - Larimer County

Month 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Jan

798

982

1,056

1,413

1,349

1,389

1,436

1,234

Feb

601

782

731

1,153

1,066

1,099

1,237

1,587

Mar

723

681

768

1,262

1,179

1,228

1,215

1,564

April

534

681

823

1,333

1,206

1,120

1,158

1,780

May

657

745

613

1,007

1,021

1,216

1,285

1,671

Jun

858

660

782

1,177

1,171

1,212

1,321

1,660

Jul

757

802

901

1,389

1,232

1,285

1,402

 

Aug

903

796

1,041

1,242

1,350

1,346

1,613

 

Sept

727

689

1,103

1,275

1,201

1,272

1,360

 

Oct

877

823

1,191

1,424

1,099

1,221

1,708

 

Nov

780

808

1,039

1,347

1,162

1,157

1,672

 

Dec

609

689

1,270

1,435

1,217

1,239

1,607

 

Total

8,824

9,138

11,318

15,457

14,253

14,784

17,014

 

Avg

735

762

943

1,288

1,188

1,232

1,418

 

See chart

Food Stamp Cases - Larimer County

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Jan

5,006

4,859

4,925

6,129

8,219

9,055

10,050

10,452

Feb

4,782

4,948

4,958

6,251

8,302

9,154

9,934

10,479

Mar

4,844

4,907

5,001

6,442

8,465

9,260

10,070

10,515

April

4,853

4,953

5,194

6,664

8,571

9,388

10,112

10,553

May

4,801

4,932

5,238

6,872

8,603

9,512

10,088

10,516

Jun

4,614

4,883

5,259

7,041

8,571

9,636

10,086

10,440

Jul

4,683

4,812

5,288

7,151

8,565

9,650

10,052

 

Aug

4,705

4,758

5,324

No data

8,655

9,731

10,160

 

Sept

4,552

4,373

5,334

7,233

8,644

9,774

10,112

 

Oct

4,686

4,626

5,629

7,608

8,643

9,904

10,198

 

Nov

4,839

4,706

5,747

7,824

8,878

9,920

10,297

 

Dec

4,740

4,728

5,993

8,091

8,990

10,063

10,333

 

Total

57,105

57,485

63,890

77,309

103,106

115,047

121,492

 

Avg

4,759

4,790

5,324

7,028

8,592

9,587

10,124

 

See chart

Average Monthly Benefits

 Per Household

2012

United States

$284

Colorado

$318

Larimer County

$287

See chart

Expedited Food Stamp Applications - Larimer County

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Jan

238

328

290

554

523

558

579

1,009

Feb

183

271

206

464

409

420

490

709

Mar

221

213

211

518

434

477

481

684

April

151

212

231

530

465

457

448

791

May

194

249

152

389

389

485

498

725

Jun

261

202

213

466

436

475

500

723

Jul

230

260

260

533

456

482

529

 

Aug

263

242

301

468

500

508

629

 

Sept

203

189

415

475

437

493

523

 

Oct

260

218

456

575

394

469

640

 

Nov

244

227

397

525

434

436

690

 

Dec

195

182

506

568

487

479

721

 

Total

2,643

2,793

3,638

6,065

5,364

5,739

6,728

 

Avg

220

233

303

505

447

478

561

 

See chart

Age of Food Stamp Recipients - Larimer County

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Under 18 years

5,405 5,470

9,092

10,315

11,186

11,740

18-59 years

4,424

6,711

7,954

9,053

9,723

10,783

60+ years

627 519

1,003

1,416

1,572

1,787

Total

10,456 12,700

18,049

20,784

22,481

24,310

See chart