Title: Does SNAP eligibility have racial or ethnic gradients: a geospatial social exploratory

Authors: Sugam Sharma; Udoyara Sunday Tim; Shashi Gadia; Johnny Wong

Addresses: Ames Lab Information Systems, Department of Energy, Government of USA, Ames, IA, 50011, USA ' Department of Agricultural and Bio-Systems Engineering, Ames, IA, 50010, USA ' Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50010, USA ' Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50010, USA

Abstract: Recently, much discussion has centred on disproportionate dependence of certain racial groups on SNAP programme. This racial overture is sparked by comments made during the Fox News-Wall Street Journal Republican Presidential debate by Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, who asserted that President Obama is a 'food stamp president'. This stereotypic SNAP overture is posting a larger narrative about government assistance and disproportionate dependence of some racial minority groups on government programmes. However, are majority of SNAP recipients fit minority profiling? We explain this overarching question through geospatial study of racial and spatial equity in government welfare programmes on food stamp. Specifically, this study explains the variations in participation votes in the food stamp programme using census tract data for counties and metropolitan areas as case examples. In addition to profiling the food stamp population across state, this study provides information required for developing the targeted nutrition education campaign.

Keywords: Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program; SNAP eligibility; census; tract; USA; United States; GIS; racial groups; ethnic groups; stereotypes; government assistance; racial minorities; minority profiling; racial equity; spatial equity; government welfare programmes; food stamp.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICT.2014.060399

International Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.189 - 212

Received: 20 Jul 2013
Accepted: 19 Sep 2013

Published online: 13 Apr 2014 *

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