Fact Sheet: Get the Facts About SNAP

April 30, 2018

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) served more than 41 million Americans in 2017 (as of December 2017). Enrollment in the program almost doubled in the wake of the recession and has been trending downward as the economy continues to recover.

Key Facts About SNAP

  • SNAP works exactly as it’s supposed to. SNAP was designed to respond quickly and efficiently to increases in need. When poverty and unemployment spiked in 2008, 2009, and 2010, so did SNAP participation.
  • SNAP reaches exactly whom it’s supposed to. The average SNAP household has a gross monthly income of $813. This is well below the strict national income limits. Ninety two percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes at or below the poverty line.
  • SNAP participation increased mainly due to the poor economy. The largest increases in SNAP participation came on the heels of the recession.
  • SNAP encourages work. Employment rates among households with children and at least one non-disabled adult rose nearly 10 percent from 2009 to 2015, the Great Recession years.
  • SNAP fraud is the exception, not the rule. The USDA tracks two types of SNAP fraud data: trafficking and error rate. The majority of SNAP payment errors are a result of administrative errors, not intentional fraud.
  • Charity alone can’t feed everyone. Our federal nutrition programs deliver more than 19 times the amount of food assistance as private charitable sources.
SNAP is a lifeline for millions of Americans. Congress must do its part to end hunger by protecting SNAP.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • Racially Equitable Responses to Hunger During COVID-19 and Beyond

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...

  • Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Better Nutrition Protects Lives

    With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

For Advocacy

Faith

African at Heart

November 22, 2019

Insight

From the Blog