With the recent questions regarding food stamps and budget cuts, it’s fair to say that there are many who don’t understand how food stamps work or who is eligible to receive them. Not everyone is entitled to food stamps, and contrary to popular thought, most people who are food stamps do not abuse the program. Conservatives have continuously tried to label the food stamp program as being a liability on the government’s budget, and citing cases of fraud to scare constituents further. However, if you knew the facts about what food stamps does and how it helps, then you’d realize, it’s a necessary program and that many Americans can’t survive without this help.
1. Working households are on the rise.
The USDA Office of Research did a student, researching and analyzing the characteristics of SNAP households. What they found was that a 47.8 percent of these were working households, which means that those who are receiving food stamps are also still trying to hold down jobs. The numbers also revealed that those who are welfare and have no jobs have actually been going down, to about 13.2 percent. Having a job is not enough in this economy to keep a family out of poverty, nor is it enough to put food on the table.
2. Food stamp programs responded quickly the recession.
This was exactly the way that SNAP and state by state programs for hunger were designed to help families. SNAP has always been an emergency care program that directly improves the lives of those it helps. The program is for low-income families who need help during economically hard times. Economists have also spoken how SNAP is the most effective way to stimulate the economy. The action that SNAP took to help the economy actually did more than just give money away, it brought in more money.
3. The long recession has created the increase for food stamps.
It isn’t Obama or hipsters that are causing the increase caseloads for SNAP. Economics show that deep and prolonged recessions will cause more people to turn to social welfare programs. Workers who are unemployed or making extremely low incomes will deplete assets, exhaust unemployment compensation and depend on SNAP to live.
4. SNAP has rigid quality control systems in place.
Of all the welfare programs, SNAP has one of the most rigorous quality control systems of any public benefit program. Some states require fingerprinting, while others require that recipients check in once a week. Those who are fraudulently using SNAP must pay back what they used, or in some cases, they will face jail time. Shop owners who cater to food stamp fraud are also subject to losing their business licenses and going to jail.
5. The recent food stamp growth is only temporary.
CBO actually has predicted that SNAP spending will eventually go down, returning to pre-recession levels along with other welfare areas of the economy. Over the long term, SNAP is not growing faster than the economy, and it is actually helping to fix the fiscal problems by stimulating businesses.
Those who have questioned the food stamp program in the past should do some research on how food stamps actually effects our government and economy. It’s an important program that allows many families to get by difficult times, even on the very little that is provided. It is one of the only programs left that is actually helping the economy as well.