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New Report Confirms SNAP Reduces Poverty

Heatherturner
Heather Rude-Turner, 31, of northern Virginia, was once a single mom receiving WIC, SNAP, and EITC. Because of this, she said she can relate to some of the low-income families who bring their children to the childcare center where she works as a teacher. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World.

We’ve been saying it repeatedly over the last several years: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is successful in keeping poverty in check or even reducing it in our country. Now, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture study confirms this, saying that SNAP reduced the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent in 2009. The USDA studied nine years of SNAP data, the latest year being 2009.

The New York Times writes that the reduction of poverty in the U.S. due to SNAP is “a significant impact for a social program whose effects often go unnoticed by policy makers.”

Currently, more than 46 million Americans benefit from SNAP -- which is the highest number of participants since the program was first piloted in 1961. More than half of today’s beneficiaries are children, most of whom are likely to be poor.

The Times writes: “The program lifted the average poor person’s income up about six percent closer to the line over the length of the study, making poverty less severe. When the benefits were included in the income of families with children, the result was that children below the threshold moved about 11 percent closer to the line.”

If you want to help us create a circle of protection around programs such as SNAP -- which are vital to hungry and poor people -- write your member of Congress today.

Adlai Amor is director of communications at Bread for the World.

+Join us in calling policymakers to protect funding for SNAP and other programs that help poor and hungry people!

 

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