SNAP: From Bad to Worse
Approximately 49 million Americans a year suffer from hunger and food insecurity. And today, if it’s even possible, their lives just got that much harder.
The 2009 federal stimulus bill included vital aid to families affected by the economic slowdown, increasing benefit allocations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly called “food stamps.” Those increases expire today. In Pennsylvania, 1.8 million residents, including 740,000 children, will lose some of their food-aid benefits, between $29 and $36 on average each month. It doesn’t sound like much, but this modest amount can create a huge void that families living paycheck to paycheck simply cannot fill. Their lifeline is suddenly in tethers. The goal behind upping SNAP benefits was to strengthen the economy and assist households whose heads were unemployed or working at jobs that didn't pay well enough to keep food on the table. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, every $1 in SNAP spending generates $1.79 in increased economic activity. That means the $2.7 billion in SNAP benefits delivered to Pennsylvanians last year helped to generate more than $4.8 billion in economic activity. The economy is improving, slowly. But the need for food aid remains at record levels. Many of those in need will turn to their local soup kitchen or food pantry, where lines already are long and shelves already are bare. The demand is still great at a time when the benefits are disappearing but demand for help is not.
Hunger Games: Philly food pantries in trouble
By Christina Paciolla - Metro
October 27, 2013