A new study shows that food stamp usage has increased in 41 states since the recession. How does your state compare?
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According to the USDA, as of 2016, about 42.2 million Americans, or about 13% of the population, participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
The SNAP program is designed to help low-income families afford groceries. Each month, participants receive benefits that can be used to buy food at participating retailers.
While the program is federally funded, it is administered by each state, which means that there can be significant variation in how easy or difficult it is to qualify for and receive benefits.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key ways in which states differ when it comes to food stamp eligibility, benefits, and participation.
How many people in the US use food stamps?
In the United States, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the main program that helps low-income households buy the food they need for good health. Also known as food stamps, SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, some farmers markets, and even some restaurants. According to the USDA, in 2018, an average of 40.3 million people per month participated in SNAP.
USDA data also shows that as of December 2018, Oregon had the highest participation rate in SNAP of any state in the country, with 18.9% of Oregonians receiving benefits. Mississippi had the second highest participation rate at 17.9%. Meanwhile, Virginia had the lowest participation rate at 5%.
So how does your state compare when it comes to food stamp usage? Scroll down to see a ranking of all 50 states (plus Washington D.C.)
How does your state compare when it comes to food stamps?
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food stamp program is the biggest and most well-known public assistance program in the country. Also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), it helps low-income households afford groceries.
In 2019, an estimated 36.6 million Americans participated in the SNAP program. It’s a vital program for many families, but some states are better than others when it comes to access and funding.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), 17 states plus Washington, D.C., had higher SNAP participation rates than the national average in 2018. In other words, a greater percentage of their residents were eligible for and receiving food stamps.
The CBPP also found that 14 states plus Washington, D.C., had lower SNAP participation rates than the national average. This means that a smaller percentage of their residents were eligible for and receiving food stamps.
Who is eligible for food stamps?
Food stamps are now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP benefits help low-income individuals and families buy food. The program is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You may be eligible for SNAP benefits if you:
-Are a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant
– Meet certain income guidelines
-Are age 18 or older (or, in some states, age 16 or 17)
-Are not currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
-Do not have assets, such as a bank account or a car, above a certain limit
How do you apply for food stamps?
In order to apply for food stamps, you must fill out an application and submit it to your local office. You will need to provide information about your income, assets, and household size. If you are approved for food stamps, you will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.
Food stamp benefits vary depending on the size of your household and your income. In general, households that have a higher income and fewer members will receive less in food stamp benefits than those with a lower income and more members. However, all households that meet the eligibility requirements will receive some level of benefit.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as of September 2019, the average monthly benefit per household was $254.
Rhode Island had the highest average monthly benefit per household at $446, while Kentucky had the lowest at $153.
Here is a complete list of average monthly benefits per household by state:
District of Columbia: $287
Indiana:$224 Iowa :$238 Kansas :$198 Kentucky :$153 Louisiana :$201 Maine :$285 Maryland :$248 Massachusetts :$282 Michigan :$234 Minnesota :251 Mississippi :173 Missouri.”209 Montana .”226 Nebraska .”206 Nevada .”270 New Hampshire .”255 New Jersey .”291 New Mexico .”233 New York “.305 North Carolina .”212 North Dakota .”214 Ohio .”217 Oklahoma .”195 Oregon 275 Pennsylvania .”260 Puerto Rico’.”241 Rhode Island “.446 South Carolina ‘.211 South Dakota’.”146 Tennessee ‘.180 Texas .226 Utah 208 Vermont .275 Virginia .235 Virgin Islands .438 Washington 268 West Virginia .196 Wisconsin .252 Wyoming .191
What are the benefits of food stamps?
Food stamps are intended to help low-income families afford nutritious food. The program is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and it is a critical part of our social safety net.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at supermarkets, convenience stores, some farmers’ markets, and even some restaurants. SNAP recipients can also use their benefits to buy seeds and plants, so long as they are used to grow food for the household to eat.
The amount of SNAP benefits a household receives is based on need, with larger households receiving more assistance. The average monthly benefit per person in Fiscal Year 2018 was $125.02.
What are the drawbacks of food stamps?
There are a few drawbacks to the food stamp program. One is that it can be difficult to qualify for food stamps if you have a job. Another is that food stamp benefits can be cut off if you don’t meet certain work requirements. Finally, food stamp benefits may not be enough to cover all of your food needs.
How can I make the most of my food stamps?
According to the USDA, as of 2016, 43.3 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). The program is designed to help low-income families afford groceries. Each household’s SNAP benefit is based on its size and income.
As of September 2017, the average SNAP benefit per person was $127.70 per month. But food stamp benefits can vary widely from state to state. Here’s a look at how much each state provides in SNAP benefits, on average, per person in a month.
District of Columbia: $160.40
What are some recipes I can make with food stamps?
According to the USDA, in Fiscal Year 2018, an average of 3.8 million people per month participated in the food stamp program. While we don’t have numbers for how many people are currently on food stamps due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that number has gone up in recent months. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are now relying on food stamps to help make ends meet, you might be wondering what recipes you can make with the foods you can buy with your food stamp card. Luckily, there are plenty of options!
With a little creativity, you can make a variety of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks with food stamps. For example, breakfast could be as simple as oatmeal with fruit or eggs and toast. For lunch or dinner, you could make a grilled cheese sandwich or a homemade pizza. And for snacks, you could make energy balls or roasted peanuts. The possibilities are endless!
If you’re looking for some specific recipe ideas, there are plenty of resources available online. The USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website has a section devoted to recipes that can be made on a budget, and many states have their own websites with recipe ideas specifically for those on food stamps. You can also find budget-friendly recipes on popular websites like Allrecipes.com and Cooking Light.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having to cook on a tight budget, don’t worry! There are plenty of delicious recipes out there that can be made with food stamps.
In conclusion, the data shows that food insecurity is a national issue, but it disproportionately affects certain states. While the South has the highest number of food insecure households, other regions like the Midwest have a higher rate of food insecurity. Households with children are also more likely to be food insecure, as are black and Hispanic households.
There are many programs in place to help those who are food insecure, but more needs to be done to address this issue. If you or someone you know is struggling with food insecurity, there are resources available to help. Visit www.feedingamerica.org for more information.