Change Indicator

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for children 5 years and younger in Maine

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for children 5 years and younger

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Why This Indicator Matters

The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food to children who live in families with low incomes. The numbers fluctuate with the economy and also with changes in eligibility.
Children who live in families who have sufficient food are said to have low food insecurity. This is associated with better outcomes in school and general health.

What the data shows
The number of children ages 5 & under receiving SNAP statewide peaked in 2012 at 30,797 children under age 6, or 36.5%. In December 202, there were just over half as many young children with SNAP as in 2012, or 16,586 children under age 6 with SNAP. Since the pandemic began in 2020, the percentage of children under age 6 with SNAP declined from 24.3% in 2019 to 19.9% in 2021 before rising to the current rate of 22.0% as of December 2023.

The rate of SNAP use for children under age 6 varies by county in 2023 was above 30% in three counties- Washington County at 35.9%, Oxford at 32.6% and Androscoggin at 31.7%. By contrast, Sagadahoc, Cumberland and York Counties had the lowest rates, all between 14.2% and 15.6%.
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Definition and Source



The number and percent of children ages birth to 5 who were receiving SNAP benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps) in December of each calendar year. Note: State totals include children whose county is unknown, who are not Maine residents, or who are not in state. The numerator is the number of children under age 6 who received SNAP in December and the denominator is the number of children under age 6 based on population data from the Office of Vital Statistics.


Data represents enrollments in SNAP as of December of those years. 

Last Updated

January 2024