Background on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps):
- Over 47 million low-income Americans participate in SNAP to help purchase food.
- 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.
- 83 percent of SNAP households have incomes at or below 100 percent of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013). These households receive 91 percent of all SNAP benefits.
- Program eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty level and no more than $2000 in assets. Participants must also meet work and citizenship requirements.
- The average SNAP household has about 2 people, with a gross monthly income of $744 and countable assets of just $331.
- The average monthly SNAP benefit per person was $133.41 in FY2012, or less than $1.50 per person per meal.
- 90 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed by day 21 of the benefit period – meaning most SNAP benefits are not enough to last recipients all month.
- All SNAP participants will see a drop in their benefits on November 1, 2013 – the average decrease will be $20-$25 for a typical family of three.
Source: Feeding America: SNAP (Food Stamps): Facts, Myths and Realities