Friday, January 16, 2015
SNAP BASICS UPDATED
SNAP is one of the few means-tested government benefit programs available to almost all households with low incomes. After unemployment insurance, SNAP historically has been the most responsive federal program in assisting families and communities during economic downturns. SNAP participation rises during economic downturns by an average of 2 to 3 million people for each percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate. The number of individuals receiving SNAP in an average month grew from 26.3 million in 2007 to over 46 million in 2014. SNAP benefits are modest; they average less than $1.40 per person per meal. Starting in November 2013, after the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary benefit increase expired, the average SNAP household received about $255 a month in benefits for the rest of fiscal year 2014. SNAP Households spend over 85% of their benefits on fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, meat, and meat alternatives.
Source: Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/8/15, SNAP Update