New research finds dramatic increases in New England food assistance use in pandemic

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published new findings on applications for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the two New England states with data available. The authors find that SNAP applications track closely with spikes in initial unemployment claims in both states, indicating that SNAP continues to provide an immediate avenue for ameliorating nutrition risk, as it has in earlier recessions. The authors note that applications will likely increase when expanded unemployment insurance expires at the end of July, and heightened rates are likely to persist if economic recovery is slow to arrive. #foodsecurity #covid-19

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