Monday, April 17, 2017


SNAP, is one of America’s most important welfare programs. It is also frequently misunderstood by both lawmakers and citizens who believe it’s rife with fraud; it’s abused by immigrants; it’s typically used to buy junk food. But many economists believe that SNAP is singularly effective. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, one of them, Craig Gunderson, who has worked in the field for 20 years, refuted most of these myths.

  • Most SNAP recipients are children, and most of those who are not young, elderly, or disabled, work.
  • SNAP participants do use their benefits to purchase soda and junk food, but one reason they may do so is that people tend to spend their SNAP dollars at the start of the month, so they buy things that are nonperishable--say bottles of soda. Then for the rest of the month they spend their cash on perishables like milk, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Selling SNAP EBT cards is an urban myth. When food stamp were paper coupons, a lot of people used to sell them. But with EBT, you can’t just sell the card--you’d also have to give the buyer your PIN number and trust they would bring the card back to you.
  • Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for SNAP benefits. However their children, if they are legal U.S. residents, have as much right to these benefits as anyone else.

Source: Washington Post, 4/4/17, Don't Know Much About Food Stamps