Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Food Stamps Stimulate the Economy and Your Wallet – Every $1 Spent on Food Stamps Adds $1.73 to the Local Economy

Brokolice se sýremNot everyone noticed, but last month, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps) expanded the amount of benefits families could receive as part of the Recovery Act. On average, families receive about $20 more per month to spend on food needs, which is then used in local supermarkets, farmers markets, and corner stores, expanding the economy.

In this economic downturn, more families have reached out to food stamps to stretch their budgets further. Nationally, food stamp use increased by 17.4% from February 2008 to February 2009; in Pennsylvania, food stamp use went up by 11.6%.

There are plenty of myths going around about the SNAP program, including the belief that only unemployed families qualify for the program. However, people can work and still qualify. To learn more about eligibility, visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare website.

And, if you are interested in applying for food stamps, there are several ways you can do so:

  • Apply in person at your local County Assistance Office
  • Apply online using Pennsylvania’s COMPASS program
  • In Delaware County, PathWays PA can prescreen you over the phone to see if you might qualify – call 610-543-5022 and ask to be prescreened. If it looks as though you qualify, we can also help you start the application process.
  • In Philadelphia County, PathWays PA can prescreen you over the phone to see if you might qualify – call 215-387-1470 and ask to be prescreened. If it looks as though you qualify, we can also help you start the application process.
  • If you live in another Pennsylvania county, download PathWays PA’s Financial Resource Guide to find more information about organizations in your area.

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