Contradictory Food Assistance Trends Suggest Eligible Persons Not Being Served

Jane Wallace McNeil

Between October 1994 and October 1998
food stamp participation in the greater Washington
area declined 25.1 percent overall with
declines recorded in all jurisdictions. Given the
generally strong economy and welfare reform,
some, but not all, of the decrease in food stamp
participation was expected and might be taken
to reflect a decreasing need for food assistance
in the area. In contrast, however, participation
in the free and reduced price lunch component of the National School Lunch Program increased
9.9 percent over the same period of
time, suggesting increasing food needs among
children from low-income families.