SNAP Lifting 3.9 Million People Above Poverty Line
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, 202.986.2200 x3018
Washington, D.C. – September 13, 2011 – The Census Bureau reported today that 46.2 million people (15.1 percent) were living in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009. This is the largest number of Americans living in poverty since the Census Bureau started publishing these estimates in 1959.
For struggling families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) is making a huge difference. According to the Census Bureau, 3.9 million people – 1.7 million children – were lifted above the poverty line in 2010 under the alternative computation that counts SNAP benefits. In 2009, SNAP lifted 3.6 million people out of poverty.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report on food insecurity showed levels of hunger and food insecurity for 2010 that were the same as 2009, although still about one-third higher than in 2007 before the recession wreaked havoc with America’s low-income and working families. The flat food insecurity rates are generally attributed to the growth in SNAP participation and the important boost in SNAP benefits that the President and Congress put in place beginning in 2009.
“SNAP lifted people out of poverty, and it helped keep hunger rates from rising. Both the poverty and hunger rates tell us that, while too many people continue to struggle, SNAP is a program that’s extremely important in helping people weather challenging times,” said FRAC President Jim Weill.
Other findings from the Census Bureau report include:
The data further underscore the need for the President and Congress to pursue policies that spur job and economic growth and protect and improve safety net programs.
For further analysis, visit FRAC’s website.
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