The Food Stamps program today is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which emphasizes that the program is not meant to provide enough food for a family for a month. In 2008, when the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service announced the name change, the press release stated that the program is designed to provide “a vital supplement to the food budgets,” of the recipients.
The following figures are taken from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service report: “Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households: Fiscal Year 2010 - September 2011.”
• In fiscal year 2010, an average of 40.3 million people living in 18.6 million U.S. households participated in the SNAP program each month.
• The average monthly benefit received by SNAP households in 2010 was $287.
• Nearly half (47 percent) of all SNAP recipients are under age 18.
• Also in 2010, 41% of all SNAP participants lived in households with earnings. For most of these households, earnings were the primary source of income.
• Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of households with no cash income of any kind nearly tripled. In 1990, 7 percent of SNAP households had zero gross income. This increased to nearly 20 percent in 2010.
• More than 21 percent of SNAP households receive Social Security and nearly 21 percent receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits given to the aged and disabled.
• In 1990, 42 percent of all SNAP households received cash welfare benefits and only 19 percent had earnings. In 2010, only 8 percent received cash welfare, while 30 percent had earnings.
• In fiscal year 2010, 76 percent of all SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled nonelderly person. These households received 84 percent of all SNAP benefits.
• The percent of eligible people who chose to participate in SNAP rose from 54.1% in fiscal year 2002 to 72.2% in fiscal year 2009.
Additional facts about food stamps:
• Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates nearly twice as much ($9.20) in total community spending, according to the SNAP Community Outreach Toolkit.
• More than 10,000 Athens County residents receive SNAP benefits each month, according to figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Public Assistance Monthly Statistics.