Commentary: The Uncomfortable Truths About the Food Stamp Program

Volunteers sorting through food stamps

A recent administrative action has permanently increased benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by 25 percent. Unfortunately, this historic boost fails to address the structural problems that plague this nearly 60-year-old program.

The official Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) webpage proudly proclaims that, “SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food…”

To that admirable end, the program formerly known as food stamps distributed $79 billion to 40 million people last year. Yet this desire to provide wholesome food to needy families conflicts with clear evidence that wholesome food is not what they think they need. Whether they play by the rules or not, people receiving SNAP benefits currently spend between 70-100 percent of that benefit on things other than healthy food.

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Increase in Food Stamp Benefits to Begin in October

After a major update to the food stamp system, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), recipients will see a massive increase in food stamp handouts in the month of October, according to CNN.

Benefits will rise by approximately 27 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, the largest such increase in the program’s history. Even after the special extension and increase that was implemented specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic has expired, the regular handouts will go up due to a revision of the Thrifty Food Plan.

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Commentary: President Trump’s Workfare Reforms of Food Stamps Will Boost Economic Empowerment, Lower Unemployment Even Further

Long-awaited changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) being unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Trump administration are once again making obtaining work a key emphasis of the program by conforming to statutory requirements that single, work capable people with no dependents between the ages of 18 and 49 are required to work in order to qualify for benefits.

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