Today millions of Americans will receive less money in food aid. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is being cut by $5 billion.
At the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk, we've been following the issue closely and have identified 10 facts everyone should know when reading about today’s cuts:
- The food stamps program was expanded in 2009 as part of the post-financial crisis government stimulus plan. Funding for the program increased by around $45 billion, for a temporary period. The program increased average monthly benefits to around $133 a month.
- Currently, around 47 million Americans are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Households of three people will receive $29 less per month in SNAP benefits, and households of four will receive $36 less per month.
- The end of the extra funding is predicted to save the government $5 billion in 2014, and $11 billion in total by 2016.
- More than 80 percent of SNAP households have monthly incomes of below the federal poverty line.
- According to estimates, the cuts are equivalent to 16 meals a month for a family of three and 21 meals for a family of four.
- The cuts will hit some states especially hard. For instance, Georgia and Illinois will see cuts of over $200 million, while California and Texas will see cuts of over $400 million.
- House Republicans have proposed about $40 billion in cuts to food stamps over the next decade. A cut of that magnitude could end benefits for nearly 4 million people by next year.
- Veterans will be hit hard by today’s cuts. A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says that, "In any given month, a total of 900,000 veterans nationwide lived in households that relied on SNAP to provide food for their families in 2011."
- In the United States more than 21 million children live in a household that receives SNAP.
Now, here are five must-read articles on the cuts happening today:
- How food stamp cuts will affect your state (USA Today)
- As Cuts to Food Stamps Take Effect, More Trims to Benefits Are Expected (NYT)
- Oh SNAP, veterans get dissed by the GOP (WP)
- Food Stamps will get cut by $5 billion this week- and more cuts could follow (WP's Wonkblog):
- Today’s Food Stamp Cuts Are Only the Beginning (The Atlantic)