Information on SNAP Benefits

How valuable are the SNAP benefits to the NY 23rd Congressional District? As of 2010, we had 84,924 Snap Recipients. The average recipient received $134.41 per month in food benefits (Food Stamps). This brings in over $11 million into our economy each month. That’s over $133 million a year!  In 2011 Secretary of Agriculture  Tom Vilsack, using a 2002 George W. Bush era study, estimated that “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity (production, sales, shipments, etc.)”  That would turn the $133 million into $244 million. Quite an economic stimulus that we would miss if the benefits were reduced.

(I would like to point out that the recipients data I used was from 2010, the number of recipients probably increased since then. The data, for some reason, did not include Schuyler County’s recipients. It did included all of Ontario and Tioga Counties when only part of each county is in our congressional district. Even with these inaccuracies, the bottom line is that SNAP has a great presence in the NY 23rd Congressional District.)

People do wonder what can purchased with the SNAP card. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) defines eligible food as any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by SNAP households. Recipients can use SNAP benefits to buy “Foods for the household to eat, such as: breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and daisy products. They can also buy seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

They can not Beer, Wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco, pet foods, soaps, paper products and household supplies. They also can not buy vitamins and medicine or food than will be eaten in the store or Hot Foods. (In some areas, Homeless can use their SNAP card in certain restaurants.)

SNAP is part of the USDA (Unted States Department of Agriculture) under the Food and Nutrition Services. The USDA programs and services also include Food Distribution Programs, Child Nutrition Programs, and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). We can find more information about these programs at the Food and Nutrition Services website.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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1 Response to Information on SNAP Benefits

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    Thanks to this blog I have a much better handle on SNAP and other food assistance programs mean to so many people. Notwithstanding the returns to the economy being impressive, the reduction of SNAP and other food assistance just seems to me cruel and unnecessary. There are two other semi-related issues that come to mind. One is the unavailablitiy of quality foods in many urban neighborhoods that rely on “bodegas” or mini-marts for groceries, where the bulk of what is sold for food is not fresh, is low quality, and always higher priced. The second thought is concerning the dependence on SNAP for elderly nutrition for homebound seniors. Without food assistance, may will wind in hospitals much sooner. “Malnourished older patients are readmitted to hospitals more frequently than those who are well-nourished.” from:


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