Earlier this month the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) published a report that shows the growing participation rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.
Participation in SNAP has grown to record levels with 39.4 million Americans receiving the benefit. This number does not account for the estimated one in three people who are eligible but not receiving SNAP. In Pennsylvania, over 12 percent of the population received SNAP in January 2010. Over the last year, the number of Pennsylvania participants increased by 254,699 people.
Some of the increases are due to the changes made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Under ARRA, SNAP benefits were increased by 19 percent, eligibility rules were eased for unemployed adults without children, and additional funding was provided to states for program administration. However, the increase is also due simple to the increased need of families during this recession. Benefits like SNAP can actually help the economy during the recession as each dollar spent produces nearly two dollars in economic activity in local communities.
If you or your clients need help applying for SNAP or other benefits, PathWays PA can help. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.