The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Food Stamps

Food stamps (renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) are used to buy food and help low-income households in the United States obtain more nutritious diets by increasing the food purchasing power at grocery stores and supermarkets for all eligible participants. Applicants must fill out an application form at the County Assistance Office or online and provide proof of identity, income, and expenses. Benefits are provided on an electronic card, called an EBT card, that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores. Food stamps/SNAP are a much more stable and beneficial source of food than emergency food assistance, yet research has show that per-person food stamp allotments do not cover the cost of a healthy diet in America (see “Coming Up Short: high food costs outstrip food stamp benefits”). From an economic standpoint, food stamps have been shown to be the fastest way to stimulate the economy: $1 in food stamp allotment generates $1.73 in consumer spending (see this recent article in CNN).

With the money food stamps provide, I was able to feed her breakfast that morning.  Without it what would she have eaten? I wanted to show that with the help she was able to eat breakfast that morning.  She had cereal. She had milk. She didn’t have to go without.

They give me $376 in Food Stamps. To try to make it through a month you have to put cash to it; there’s no way Food Stamps are gonna make it alone, it’s not gonna work.

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