The SNAP Effect: Lifting Households Out of Poverty
For struggling families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) is making a huge difference. Reports from the U.S. Census Bureau and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service show how SNAP benefits can lift people out of poverty.
Nationally, 3.9 million people – 1.7 million children – were lifted above the poverty line in 2010 under the alternative computation that counts SNAP benefits, according to the Census Bureau’s latest report on poverty and income in the United States. In 2009, SNAP lifted 3.6 million people out of poverty.
A new report from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) details the characteristics of SNAP participants in FY 2010, including the percentage of households in each state whose incomes were lifted above the poverty level by receipt of SNAP benefits. Follow these links for the SNAP Characteristics Report: Summary (pdf) and Full Report (pdf).
According to the FNS report, the ten states where SNAP made the largest percentage point difference in lifting households above 101 percent of the poverty level were New York (33.5), Vermont (26), Rhode Island (25.1), Massachusetts (23), Alaska (19.4), Wisconsin (17.8), Connecticut (17.5), New Hampshire (17.2), Maine (16.9), and Idaho (16.3).