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.
- COMMUNITY MATTERS: Students Take on SNAP Challenge (arkansasmatters.com)
- USDA: 101 Million Americans Receive Food Stamps (occupycorporatism.com)
- As Congress debates cuts, moms fret about feeding kids (nbcnews.com)
- Confronting Congressional Hunger Games (billmoyers.com)
- A Guide To Geriatric Syndromes (SeniorHomes.com)