Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name of the Food Stamp Program. In New York it is managed by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). The chart below shows information about SNAP usages in each county of the NY 23rd Congressional District. Eligibility is based on your income and family size. If your income is at 125% of the Federal Poverty Level or lower, then you qualify for monthly benefits. (See Second and Third Charts for necessary income levels, and the fourth chart for the monthly benefits.) The chart can be a bit tricky to understand. In Tompkins County 21.5% of the families qualify for SNAP benefits, but only 7% actually receive the benefits. The last column can be read as a percent–only 38% of the families that qualify for SNAP Benefits, receive them. This following two charts are pretty much self-explanatory.
The last chart shows monthly benefits each family will receive. A family of four, without an elderly or disabled member, can earn up to $29,976. They will receive $668 in SNAP credits monthly, in-effect increasing the family’s income to $37,992.
The Ryan’s budget will reduce the SNAP funding by $133.5 Billion over 10 years. That’s a 17% reduction. Presently 90% of the funding goes for benefits; the rest goes for necessary state administrative cost to determine eligibility, and operating costs. The administration costs are almost a ‘fixed cost’–that work will still need to be done. Most of the cuts will be on the benefit side of the ledger. For New York State, who has 3,160,000 SNAP participants, will lose $9 billion dollars over the ten year period.
The Republicans have pointed to he SNAP Program as a reason the Farm Bill has not been renewed. One of the proposals is to adjust the SNAP benefit when high housing costs consume more of the family income. Another sticking point is that there is a long lag time time (up to 16 months) for the inflation adjustment to take effect. These seem to be reasonable request, but the Farm Bill, even approved by the Republican lead Agricultural Committee, has not been brought to the floor for discussion or a vote.
- Food stamps give some grocers a lift, too (wbng.com)
- Views on Food: Why we need food stamps (sacbee.com)
- Food stamp forum message: Don’t tell us what to buy! (thestate.com)
- Right-Wingers Lying About Food Stamps (alternet.org)