Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SNAP (food stamps) had 79,000 fewer recipients in March; participation declined for fifth straight month

After 13 straight years of increased participation, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps, is seeing a drops in the number of recipients. March marked the fifth month in a row that participation has declined; it's now "down about 1.7 million from the record of 47.8 million in December 2012," Christopher Doering reports for The Des Moines Register.

The current number of recipients stands at 46.1 million, the lowest number since August 2011, Doering writes. "USDA data showed the average amount received per person in March was $125.29, and each household collected about $256.96." As part of the Farm Bill passed in January, the Republican House cut the program by $8.6 billion over the next decade, largely by tightening eligibility rules for people who qualify for federal heating assistance.

The program increased by 2.2 percent, or one million new recipients, in 2013, but that was the smallest growth since 2007. It lost 79,476 recipients in March, "with the current total declining 3.41 percent on a year-over-year basis," reports the blog Paper Economy. Even though the total number of participants is down, it still represents 18.69 percent of the U.S. population. (Read more) (Paper Economy graphic)

1 comment:

Ghostly Wisconsin said...

As I understand it, food stamps aren't an entitlement. That is, even though you qualify, you can be denied food stamps based on such factors as your home county's current case load. The food stamp program is routinely targeted for cuts, and benefit levels have fluctuated quite dramatically since the 1990s.