According to a study by the National Priorities Project, only 50.2% of people in the U.S. who qualify for food stamps actually receive them. Their report, “Half of Low-Income People Not Receiving Food Stamps,” [pdf] is available here. The state with the lowest participation rate is Nevada with 32.3% of those eligible receiving food stamps with Missouri the highest at 71.5%.

According to this report on the study from McClatchy Newspapers, “The authors cited many reasons for the disparities, including the stigma of government benefits, eligibility rules and lack of information about the benefits.” It also reports that overall these participation rates are up since 2002.