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Benefit Redemption Patterns in SNAP: FY 2017

Resource type
Research Reports
Research type
SNAP Benefit Use
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (226.55 KB)
PDF Icon Full Report (11.70 MB)
PDF Icon Appendix A-E (5.54 MB)
PDF Icon Appendix F-I (1.66 MB)

This report examines patterns of SNAP benefit redemption in fiscal year 2017, particularly related to the timing and amount of transactions and the rate at which households​ exhaust their benefits. Patterns in fiscal year 2017 are compared with findings from two similar studies conducted for fiscal years 2003 and 2009.  This study also examines spending behaviors identified as atypical – months in which a benefit is received but the household does not make a transaction, an ending monthly balance greater than $200, and out-of-state transactions that occur beyond the state’s border counties.​

Key Findings

  • ​SNAP households made an average of 9.4 purchase transactions per month, spending an average of about $27 per transaction.
  • On average, SNAP households had redeemed more than three-fourths of their benefits by the middle of the month.
  • The average household redeemed 16.5 percent of its benefit on the day of issuance, and ultimately redeemed 95.9 percent of their monthly benefit before receiving their next issuance.
Page updated: July 12, 2024