Change Indicator

Participation in public assistance programs in Delaware

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Why This Indicator Matters

Programs that help strengthen the incomes of low- and middle- income working families are often referred to as safety net programs, meaning they help prevent those families from falling farther into poverty. Research shows that in 2016, federal safety net programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and free or reduce priced school meals raised 36 million Americans out of poverty. While these programs help millions, they make up only 9% of annual federal spending (compared to 6% of annual budget dedicated to paying interest on debts and over 15% spent on defense and international security assistance). Ensuring safety net program remain strong will protect families and communities across the nation from further insecurity.
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Definition and Source



TANF: average monthly number of cases receiving assistance 
SNAP: average monthly number of households receiving assistance

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is a cash assistance program for families in Delaware jointly administered by the Delaware Division of Social Services, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation and Economic Development Office. The program provides needy families and parents with the means needed to afford expenses, such as high energy bills and car repairs, maintain gainful employment and receive basic assistance. TANF also makes sure that children in low-income families get basic amenities, support and services they need to develop.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to ensure adequate nutrition, particularly for children.

Data Source

Delaware Heath and Social Service


The 2019 monthly averages are depressed due to a federal government shutdown in February 2019, which severely impacted the number of households served by SNAP.

Last Updated

February 2024