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SNAP: Know the Facts—Forget the Myths

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (or SNAP, the new name for food stamps) combats hunger by helping millions of families eat healthy nutritious food.

Ready to know the truth about SNAP? Keep reading!

Myth: People who get SNAP don’t work
Fact: Actually, about one third of households enrolled in SNAP are working. You may qualify even if you work, own a car, or are single with no dependents.
Myth: SNAP is a drain on taxpayers
Fact: Every $5 in SNAP benefits generates $9 in economic activity, according to the USDA. SNAP benefits can help families to use more of their funds for other expenses such as utility bills, medical care, child care, home repairs, etc. This in turn benefits local businesses and helps boost the economy as a whole.

Myth: If my family receives SNAP benefits, my children will not be able to get free or reduced price school meals.
Fact: You can qualify for both SNAP benefits AND Free/Reduced Price School Meals. Both of these programs exist to ensure that your family can be healthy and productive. 

Myth: The amount I receive through SNAP will be too low to make a difference.
Fact: SNAP benefits can be as high as $526 for a family of three. But even if you get the minimum benefit of $16 per month (for a family of one or two) you can still save nearly $200 per year!

Myth: If I use SNAP benefits at the grocery store, I will hold up the line and everyone will know I use “food stamps.”
Fact: All SNAP recipients receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which looks and works just like a debit card at any SNAP retailer. No one needs to know that you receive SNAP benefits.

Myth: If I want to apply for SNAP, I have to wait in line with lots of people at the welfare office.
Fact: You may apply for SNAP online from the comfort of your own home, over the phone with a PathWays PA staff member, or in person at a PathWays PA outreach site. PathWays PA can help screen you for eligibility, answer your questions and concerns regarding SNAP benefits, and help you through the often confusing and complicated application process. Also, you should know that SNAP is a nutrition program run by the USDA and is not considered a “welfare” program.

Want to know more about applying for SNAP? Call PathWays PA at 610-543-5022.

- Rachel Ludman

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