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Barriers to Food Stamps in New York State: A Perspective from the Field

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Pages 13-28
Published online: 14 Jan 2013

Although the Food Stamp Program provides nutritional assistance to families and individuals in need, barriers to access, eligibility, and receipt of food stamp benefits do exist. Minimizing and potentially eradicating significant barriers requires a better understanding of which barriers are the most prevalent and persistent and a plan for addressing them. Using data from 73 community based organizations in New York State over a 4-year time period, the authors identify barriers that are most frequently mentioned and do not abate over time. A number of recommendations are presented to address barriers in general and the specific barriers that were identified.


The authors acknowledge the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and their sincere gratitude goes to Linda Bopp, Executive Director, and Dawn Secor, Food Stamp Specialist at Hunger Solutions New York Inc. for their insightful contributions to this project and article.


1. One in ten residents in New York receives food stamps. But enrollment rates vary widely by county, from 1% in Putnam County to 28% in the Bronx.

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