The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “Food Stamps”) is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger. It’s important that SNAP benefits are able to meet people’s needs.
Who SNAP Helps
SNAP helps millions of Americans with low incomes to put food on the table by providing a monthly benefit that is based on household size, income, and other factors such as housing and heating costs. SNAP helps our most vulnerable neighbors, largely serving households that include children, seniors, and people with disabilities. While SNAP is a highly effective program, the minimum benefit (just $20 per month) does not stretch far enough.
How SNAP Helps
SNAP gives older adults and individuals with disabilities who have low incomes a better chance to stave off hunger. It also improves mental health, frees up income for expenses like housing and medications, and is associated with lower health care costs. However, particularly as we face record inflation, the minimum SNAP benefit of $20 per month is simply too low to help those on a limited budget afford adequate nutrition. To limit the depth and duration of hardship, and to help close the SNAP participation gap among older adults, Pennsylvania should increase the minimum SNAP benefit for seniors and those with disabilities to $35/month.
Take Action to Boost SNAP in PA
While the federal government funds SNAP, Governor Wolf has proposed utilizing $14.333 million in state dollars to increase the minimum SNAP benefit for households with elderly or disabled members by $15 per month. This would bring the federally funded minimum benefit of $20 per month up to $35 per month. Our PA state legislators must include this proposal in the final Fiscal Year 2022-2023 state budget due June 30, which they are preparing right now.
Tell your state senator and representative: seniors and people with disabilities need help affording food!