No matter how much you keep up with the proper paperwork, maintain your records with your caseworker, or try to maintain your food stamp benefits there are times when food stamps may be denied.
With heavy criticism from political candidates like Newt Gingrich, food stamp programs have been taking some heavy heat. The same critics suggest limiting funding due to food stamp abuse. However, SNAP has provided the nation with some major benefits that are making proponents advocate for lower restrictions. Already, states like Florida and New York are taking steps to limit the food stamp program by placing more restrictions on what you can buy to fingerprinting food stamp users. The actions are damaging to the 1 in 7 Americans who use food stamps to survive and simply don't like the stigma that comes with these restrictions. Instead, lawmakers should be looking at some of the obvious benefits for SNAP users.
For one, almost 75 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children, and another quarter of participants have senior citizens and disabled persons in their homes. Along unemployment insurance, SNAP is the only program that provides immediate service and attention to those who are in incredible need. The program has helped with the nation’s hunger problems, but these problems are nowhere near solved, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
SNAP allows families to bridge the gaps between temporary unemployment and periods of poverty that come when you are unemployed. If food assistance were to disappear tomorrow, American families would be cast aside to be hungry. SNAP directly benefits low-income families. It protects families from hardship and hunger. Parents can use SNAP to supplement a meager income and provide a good, healthy meal for their kids.
SNAP also does a great deal for the economy. SNAP users contribute money back into the economy by using food stamps and it also helps maintain the food demand during slow economic periods. Food stamps are considered to be the fastest, most effective form of economic stimulus because it directly goes back into the economy once spent. Moody’s Analytics estimates that in a weak economy, every $1 increased in SNAP benefits actually generates more money, $1.72 to be exact.
Most of all, 93 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes that are below the poverty line, and 55 percent go to households with incomes below half of the poverty line. Families with the greatest need are given aid and survive through an economic downturn. For those benefits, many families have been able to withstand a financial drought.