Some 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits shrink by an average of 5 percent this week (about $36), when additional financing for the food aid program included in the 2009 stimulus expires on Friday. Hear the story here.
Some SNAP Facts:
- Some 43 percent of SNAP recipients live at or below half the poverty line. ($11,490/individual or $23,550/family of four) Only 15 percent live above the poverty line.
- Children under 18 account for 47 percent of all food stamp recipients. Eight percent are seniors.
- The share of SNAP recipients that also receives welfare benefits is at historic lows; in 2010, that number was less than 10 percent.
- Administrative costs for the food stamp program are at the lowest they’ve been since the 1990’s.
- The average length of time a new participant is on SNAP is eight to nine months.
- There is an incentive to work built into the system, which decreases benefits as a person earns income, but at a staggered rate. In practice this means that someone will benefit more by working and having their assistance reduced slowly (or stopped altogether when their income becomes high enough) than by remaining on SNAP long term.
For every $1 invested in SNAP, $3 will be generated in the economy. People need to eat. And given kids make up 47% of the program, this is not only an healthcare issue, it’s an economic one. Immediate boosts into the economy combined with increased productivity in school are a no brainer.
As Congress continues to discuss the Farm Bill, please urge your Members of Congress not to accept the House’s $40 billion dollars in cuts to SNAP. It’s ill-advised and just plain nasty.
If you are inclined to call, use the switchboard 202-224-3121. Not sure who your Member is? Check here, top right hand corner to enter your zip code.
I know this has been a bit of a soapbox and promise to post some legit recipes but can’t sit and watch food taken out of children’s mouths.
- Food-stamp cuts to hit 2 million Illinois residents (chicagotribune.com)
- House and Senate face deep divide over food stamps (bigstory.ap.org)