Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net, working to end hunger and improve the health of low-income people by helping families buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet.
In order to qualify, you must have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below the following amounts:
|Household Size||Maximum Income Level (Per Year)|
According to the South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The benefits are not intended to cover all of a family’s food costs, but will lessen the amount of income that must be used toward groceries each month. Families, people living alone, and people living with roommates use SNAP. People who are homeless can get SNAP benefits too. People of all ages are a part of SNAP.
For households with more than eight people, add $5,408 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Pilot Food Stamp Program (1961-1964)
Food Stamp Act of 1964 (Under President Johnson)
According to the South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Created in 1939; lasted for 4 years
Program ended due unmarketable food surpluses and widespread unemployment; no longer existed
Orange stamps used to buy any food, Blue stamps for surplus food determined by the Gov’t
President Kennedy 1st Executive Order called for expanded food distribution
Retain the requirement that the food stamps be purchased, but eliminated the concept of special stamps for surplus foods
The eligibility for purchase with food stamps of all items intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages and imported foods
Prohibitions against discrimination on bases of race, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs
Major Reform – 1970’s
The Food Stamp Act of 1977
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT): 1988 – 2004
According to the South Carolina Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
1971, established uniform national standards of eligibility and work requirements
Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, required States to expand the program to every political jurisdiction before July 1, 1974
FOOD STAMP ACT
Established statutory income eligibility guidelines at the poverty line
Restricted eligibility for students and aliens (illegal) •
Eliminated the requirement that households must have cooking facilities
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received
EBT is used in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam.
State food stamp agencies work with contractors to procure their own EBT systems for delivery of Food Stamp and other state-administered benefit programs
Usage by race
One of the most common statements is that majority of those on food stamps are from the African American culture and that is not actually true. More African Americans are known or heard to have food stamps but by polls there are more Caucasians on food stamps. The majority of people using the food stamp system are indeed White, because there are far more White people in the total US population. However, if we compare the percentage of White people to the percentage of Black people using food stamps, we find that there is a noticeably higher ratio of Blacks on food stamps than Whites when compared to their own race. This is something that most people miss because statistical analysis is not something that most of us are taught growing up.
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program provides food stamps for almost 47 million Americans. Of those 47 million people, 38.3% are White and 25.8% are Black. Approximately 11.4% are Hispanic, 2.5% are Asian, and the remainder are Amerindian.
Usage by state
• Number of food stamp recipients: 868,192
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 18.67%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state): Around $107.4 million
• Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $23.10
• Number of food stamp recipients: Just over 1.28 million
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 19.58%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $158.7 million
• Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.23
• Number of food stamp recipients: 791,222
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 19.93%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $98 million
• Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.66 per person
4. West Virginia
• Number of food stamp recipients: 369,249
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 19.96%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $45.7 million
• Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $24.69 per person
3. New Mexico
• Number of food stamp recipients: 448,328
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 21.5%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $55.5 million
• Cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $26.60 per person
• Number of food stamp recipients: 650,911
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 21.74%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $80.5 million
• Estimated cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $26.90 per person
1. District of Columbia
• Number of food stamp recipients: 144,768
• Percentage of the state’s population on food stamps: 21.97%
• Total cost of just these benefits alone (That is, how much do just the money on those EBT cards cost the state?): Around $18 million
• Estimated cost of benefits alone per capita in this state: $27.19 per person
Usage over the years
The jump in September 2012 was due to Hurricane Isaac. The spike in May 2011 was due to a surge in Alabama after an historic onslaught of giant tornadoes devastated the state. According to the USDA, about 1 million disaster victims from several states were added to the rolls.
Income Limits (Cuts)
As policymakers and the potential presidential candidates develop their thinking on agricultural policy, they should remember that the same free-market principles that have allowed this nation to flourish should apply equally to agriculture. They should aggressively want to challenge trade barriers that block American commodities from entering foreign markets while recognizing that we must meet our own trade obligations.
Agriculture has been subject to the same central planning philosophy that has existed for more than 80 years. This needs to change. It will take leaders willing to get the federal government out of the way so that farmers and ranchers can better use their expertise to provide food that feeds this nation — and the world.
Income has been one of the biggest issues with food stamps and the issue if applicants are lying and more research is being put into the application process to qualify.
Market Based Solutions
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
School Breakfast and Lunch
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides baby formula, food, and counseling to 8 million lower-income women and children annually. WIC covers pregnant women, new mothers, and children until the age of five. The WIC program will cost more than $6 billion in 2016. This helps with mothers with newborns and to help reduce the cost of formula.
The federal government funds school lunch and breakfast programs at about 100,000 public schools and nonprofit private schools across the nation. The lunch program covers 31 million children, while the breakfast program covers 14 million children. This is to make sure that all children are feed at school and no child left behind.
Standards had to be established to ensure that the program was being utilized as it was intended.
Program regulations were established to ensure that the integrity of the program was preserved.
Income limits, Payment standard and the like were created.
SNAP-Ed’s effectiveness stems largely from its community-based orientation. Land-grant institutions work closely with state and local public and private entities to strategically deliver SNAP-Ed using methods and locations that are most favorable to SNAP–eligible populations. Local offices that administer SNAP are key referrals and SNAP-Ed delivery sites. Myriad other state and local partners support university efforts by contributing a wide range of assistance and resources, such as participant referrals, team teaching, meeting space, child care and transportation, food demonstration supplies, equipment, and cash for supplementary resources. More recent actions include cooperation and collaboration to support policy, system, and environmental changes that make healthier food and physical activity choices the easy choice for SNAP-Ed eligible populations.
Government Intervention Argument
By setting income limits for low-income households, it allows for the government to provide more aid to more families .
Official notification of number of bedrooms details the size of home or apartment a family can rent.
Amount of food stamps received by the individual is based on the total amount of yearly household income
Market Based Solution Argument
The share of mothers on WIC who breastfeed is substantially less than the share of mothers not on WIC who breastfeed. Studies even find that mothers on WIC breastfeed less than other low-income mothers who are not on WIC. A Centers for Disease Control study found, for example, that at six months after birth, 33 percent of mothers on WIC were breastfeeding compared to 50 percent of low-income mothers not on WIC.
The modern school lunch program dates to the National School Lunch Act of 1946. The program covered 7 million children in its first year and was expanded to 22 million children by 1970. The number of recipients was trimmed during the 1980s, but has risen since the 1990s. Congress began the school breakfast program as a pilot program in 1966 and made it permanent in 1975. Congress added an after-school snack program in 1998.
The school lunch and breakfast programs are not just for low-income families. Any child at participating schools is allowed to receive meals under the programs. Families with incomes below 130 percent of the poverty level receive free meals, while those between 130 and 185 percent of the poverty level receive reduced-price meals. Families above 185 percent pay “full price,” but that price is also subsidized to an extent. In 2015, 65 percent of the meals were free, 7 percent were reduced price, and 28 percent were full price
Who Benefits with Government Intervention
Voucher Payment Standards
More needy families
Very low income families based on area median income levels
The true benefit with government intervention is that income limits are set and allow control to be place and not creating a larger debt for the country. I believe everyone that needs the help should get it but there are those that take advantage of the service being offered.
Who’s Hurt By Government Intervention
The people who are low income but make too much to qualify
Families that need financial assistance but have income that is not enough to pay higher rent and not low enough to qualify for the program
Tax paying citizens
According to the Federal-State Public Welfare Programs
Tax payers are seeing a small amount of taxes increase. It is small in number but that adds up over time. Families need the option of having financially stable in life and not just depending on service being offered that can be taken advantage of.
Failures of intervention
Higher crime area
Costing tax payers more money
It has been stated that there are fights breaking out due to food stamps and the selling of food stamps. Without a true control there could be an increase in the crime areas. It could make others lazy and not work as they have food stamps to live on they don’t need to work. The more people that are eligible for food stamps increase the payments for tax payers out of their weekly or every 2-week check. Taxes are already extremely high but no one wants to pay more money from their pay check they worked so hard for.
Myth: Eligibility requirements are not strict enough — it’s too easy to participate in SNAP.
Myth: There is widespread abuse and fraud in SNAP by beneficiaries.
Myth: SNAP may be used to eat in restaurants.
Debunking Myths About Food Stamps
1. Truth: SNAP is a means-tested program. Eligibility is determined based on the number of eligible household members, documentation of income and deductions, household composition (elderly, disabled, residency status), and whether the state opted for categorical eligibility with TANF. In about half the states, a household is eligible for SNAP if its income is lower than 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) while in states with categorical eligibility, the gross income limits vary from 160 percent to 200 percent FPL.
The SNAP food benefit is based on the market basket cost of the USDA Thrifty Food Plan. For households with no other income, the maximum food benefit for a single person is $200/month and for a family of four, $668/month (October 2010 to September 2011). For a family of four, an allotment of $688/month in SNAP benefits translates to $41.75 per family member per week for food purchases. Since a sliding scale based on income is used to determine benefit amounts, most households receive less than this allotment. In 2010, the average benefit was $133/month per person and $289/month per household. The minimum benefit in a 2-person household is $16/month.
Moreover, only 72 percent of all people who are eligible for SNAP and 60 percent of the working poor actually received them. Eligible individuals who are not enrolled in SNAP may lack awareness of the program, experience difficulty with the application process, and may not understand its eligibility requirements.
While it may seem that SNAP benefits are easy to obtain because so many more individuals are currently enrolled in the program, the high numbers — 1 in 7 Americans — reflect the fact that more households are experiencing hardship because of the current economic recession.
2. Truth: Due to more than a decade of increased oversight by the USDA, including the introduction of the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, fraud in the SNAP program has reached all-time lows.
In 2010, the Government Accountability Office found that “trafficking,” a fraudulent activity commonly cited in the media, where SNAP benefits are sold for cash, has decreased from 3.8 cents per dollar of benefits in 1993 to about 1 cent per dollar of benefits — a significant decline.
While there is always room for improvement, it is a clear exaggeration to suggest that fraud is widespread within SNAP.
3. Truth: The SNAP Restaurant Meal Program is a federal option selected by five states. It allows an exception to the SNAP prohibition on hot, ready-to-eat foods for elderly, disabled and homeless SNAP participants only. In three of the five states, this program is not available statewide but rather offered in specific counties or on a pilot basis. Qualifying restaurants must offer low cost or reduced price meals and meet other SNAP requirements.
To conclude, the establishment of a basic food stamps program was to offer those eligible families the option of purchasing surplus authorized by the FDA. Presidential administrations and acts through Congress since the inception of the basic food stamps program, evolved the framework into the SNAP program. The SNAP program has both the benefits of ensuring against nutritional insecurities, and the disadvantage of allocating funds to those families or individuals who may not be eligible.
Under the SNAP program, families and individuals were (and currently are) issued a monthly food stamp balance for use, and are typically screened for continued eligibility bi-annually. The SNAP program offers the ability for families and individuals to abstain from nutritional insecurity, while aiding in the avoidance of further reliance of public systems or through developed health conditions that would need to be treated in the existing health infrastructures. When economic conditions worsen momentarily, it is necessary for cuts to be implemented, and therefore, evaluation of those eligible is necessary to ensure the SNAP program may continue to operate at optimal capacity.