CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Virginia say more than one in 10 Virginians receives food stamps.

The research is from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service's Demographics Research Group. It found that so-called SNAP payments totaled $1.2 billion in 2012.

SNAP is short for the more formal name for the food stamps — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Among the eight regions in the state, only northern Virginia had a lower food stamp rate than the state average of 11.6 percent. Five percent of northern Virginians get food stamp assistance.

On the flip side, the participation rate in Southside was the highest — 22 percent.

A family of four with a net monthly income below $2,000 is eligible for SNAP benefits.