The second in a series of blog posts to answer questions about SNAP and what it means to people struggling with hunger.
Anne cares for her disabled husband, Mark is unemployed, and Lynn is on a fixed income. They are just a few of the one in seven Hoosiers who receive help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
SNAP helps families, seniors, people with disabilities and others with low incomes purchase the food they need during tough times. Eligibility for SNAP is determined by income, assets, citizenship status and other factors.
The dollar value of SNAP benefits depends on the number of people in the household and how much income is left after basic living expenses are deducted. In Indiana, the average monthly SNAP benefit for each household member is just $125. That’s about $1.40 per meal.
For 40 years, SNAP has helped hundreds of thousands of people through crisis situations. Enrollment expands during a weak economic period and contracts when the economy recovers and poverty declines. SNAP provides a critical economic stimulus when the economy slows, creating activity in grocery stores, corner markets, and farmers markets and stands.
The overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so, and the program is particularly effective in supporting work.