Thursday, March 10, 2016
SNAP: the facts
State Senators Ritchie and Griffo have each recently introduced bills that would place restrictions on the SNAP program. I'd like to think that the people making our laws would be doing so after analyzing the facts of a situation, but in these two cases, it seems like the proposals are responding to the tired, old myths of who needs public assistance and how they use that assistance.
When it comes to SNAP, the facts are clear. 40% of SNAP households have someone who is employed, but not making enough to support his or her family. Wouldn't our public officials time and energy be better used to find ways to help those families secure better jobs or earn more money than to limit their food choices? If we could help that family earn more income, maybe they could get off from the SNAP program altogether!
And while working on employment issues is important, most SNAP benefits actually go to people that a civilized society does not expect to work. 76% of all SNAP benefits go to households with children; 12% of all SNAP goes to households with disabled persons; and 10% of SNAP benefits are distributed to households with seniors. In 2016, in the United States of America, do we really expect our children and our seniors to go to work in order to have enough to eat?