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November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities

State-by-State Figures Highlight the Impacts Across the Country

From the 24 October 2013 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report

By Dottie Rosenbaum and Brynne Keith-Jennings

The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ends on November 1, 2013, which will mean a benefit cut for each of the nearly 48 million SNAP recipients — 87 percent of whom live in households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities.  House and Senate members who are now beginning to negotiate a final Farm Bill should keep this benefit cut in mind as they consider, in reauthorizing the SNAP program, whether to make even deeper cuts.

The November 1 benefit cut will be substantial.  A household of three, such as a mother with two children, will lose $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining 11 months of fiscal year 2014.  (See Figure 1.)  The cut is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three based on the cost of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s “Thrifty Food Plan.”  Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2014 will averageless than $1.40 per person per meal.  Nationally, the cut totals about $5 billion in 2014 and a total of $11 billion over the fiscal year 2014 to 2016 period.[1] (See Table 1.)

The SNAP benefit cut will make it even harder for families to put food on the table.  More than 80 percent of SNAP households have monthly income below the federal poverty line ($19,500 a year for a family of three), and more than 40 percent live in deep poverty, with income below half of the poverty line.  The Recovery Act’s temporary benefit increase boosted the ability of households to provide adequate food for their families, known as “food security,” research shows.

The benefit cut will affect all households that receive SNAP, the majority of which include children, seniors, or people with disabilities.  Nationally, more than 21 million children — that is, more than 1 in 4 of all children — live in a household that receives SNAP.  At least a quarter of children receive SNAP benefits in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia; in some states, this figure is more than 40 percent.  November’s SNAP cut for households with children will total $3.5 billion in the remaining 11 months of fiscal year 2014.  Similarly, more than 9 million seniors and people with disabilities receive SNAP.  Their households will experience a $1.2 billion benefit cut over the same period.  Table 2, below, shows the number of children and senior citizens or people with disabilities in each state who live in such households.

In addition, the November benefit cut will reduce, by millions of dollars in every state, the flow of money that not only would help families afford to eat, but also would inject money into the economy.  Studies show that in a distressed economy, every dollar of SNAP benefits creates at least about $1.70 in economic activity, as SNAP recipients spend their benefits on food quickly.  For example, California and Texas will each lose over $400 million in SNAP benefits that would have helped their residents eat in 2014; the potential economic impact is even greater.

The depth and breadth of the SNAP cuts that take effect in November are unprecedented.  Past cuts have affected specific states or groups, but they have not affected all participants nor been as large as these cuts.

They are taking effect the same week that the House and Senate Agriculture Committees begin their conference committee negotiations on the Farm Bill, which includes a reauthorization of and proposed cuts to SNAP.  The House version of the bill would cut SNAP by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years, denying benefits to about 3.8 million people in 2014 and an average of 3 million people each year over the coming decade.

Table 1
The SNAP ARRA Termination: Estimated State-by-State Impact in Fiscal Year 2014
Total SNAP Benefit Cut to State
(in millions of dollars, from November 2013 through September 2014)
Number of SNAP Recipients in FY 2014
(all of whom are impacted by the cut)
Total Share of Total State Population
Alabama -$98 910,000 19%
Alaska -$12 95,000 13%
Arizona -$109 1,101,000 17%
Arkansas -$52 501,000 17%
California -$457 4,168,000 11%
Colorado -$55 511,000 10%
Connecticut -$44 424,000 12%
Delaware -$16 154,000 17%
District of Columbia -$15 144,000 22%
Florida -$379 3,552,000 18%
Georgia -$210 1,947,000 19%
Hawaii -$33 190,000 13%
Idaho -$24 230,000 14%
Illinois -$220 2,031,000 16%
Indiana -$98 925,000 14%
Iowa -$43 421,000 13%
Kansas -$33 317,000 11%
Kentucky -$94 875,000 20%
Louisiana -$98 920,000 20%
Maine -$26 251,000 19%
Maryland -$82 774,000 13%
Massachusetts -$95 889,000 13%
Michigan -$183 1,775,000 18%
Minnesota -$55 556,000 10%
Mississippi -$70 664,000 22%
Missouri -$96 933,000 15%
Montana -$13 131,000 13%
Nebraska -$18 180,000 10%
Nevada -$37 359,000 13%
New Hampshire -$12 117,000 9%
New Jersey -$90 873,000 10%
New Mexico -$47 442,000 21%
New York -$332 3,185,000 16%
North Carolina -$166 1,708,000 17%
North Dakota -$6 57,000 8%
Ohio -$193 1,847,000 16%
Oklahoma -$66 615,000 16%
Oregon -$84 819,000 21%
Pennsylvania -$183 1,779,000 14%
Rhode Island -$20 181,000 17%
South Carolina -$93 875,000 18%
South Dakota -$11 104,000 12%
Tennessee -$141 1,345,000 20%
Texas -$411 3,997,000 15%
Utah -$26 253,000 9%
Vermont -$10 101,000 16%
Virginia -$99 941,000 11%
Washington -$114 1,113,000 16%
West Virginia -$36 350,000 19%
Wisconsin -$89 861,000 15%
Wyoming -$4 39,000 7%
Guam -$7 45,000 N/A
Virgin Islands -$4 27,000 N/A
Puerto Rico Block Grant  $0 N/A N/A
Total -$5,000 47,600,000 15%
Source: CBPP estimates based on USDA’s June 2013 Thrifty Food Plan, CBO May 2013 baseline, 2011 USDA data on SNAP Household Characteristics, recent USDA administrative data on the number of SNAP participants, and U.S. Census Bureau data on state populations.
Notes: The number of SNAP recipients shown is for a typical, or average month in fiscal year 2014.  In addition to the cuts shown in this table, an additional $6 billion in cuts are expected to occur in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 under CBO’s May 2013 food inflation projections.

Table 2
Estimated State-By-State Impact of the SNAP ARRA Repeal On Subpopulations
Number of Children Affected in FY 2014 Households With Children Affected in FY 2014 Benefit Loss to Households With Children
(in millions of dollars, November 2013-September     2014)
Number of Elderly or People With Disabilities Affected in FY 2014 Households With Elderly or People with Disabilities Affected in FY 2014 Benefit Loss to Households With Elderly or People With Disabilities
(in millions of dollars, November 2013-September 2014)
Alabama 423,000 214,000 -$71 157,000 144,000 -$23
Alaska 42,000 18,000 -$9 13,000 11,000 -$2
Arizona 538,000 251,000 -$84 147,000 134,000 -$18
Arkansas 232,000 117,000 -$37 91,000 86,000 -$12
California 2,285,000 1,171,000 -$373 154,000 123,000 -$17
Colorado 250,000 117,000 -$41 73,000 69,000 -$10
Connecticut 149,000 77,000 -$24 102,000 94,000 -$15
Delaware 68,000 34,000 -$11 23,000 21,000 -$3
District of Columbia 55,000 28,000 -$9 30,000 27,000 -$4
Florida 1,303,000 668,000 -$215 713,000 666,000 -$92
Georgia 892,000 441,000 -$152 295,000 260,000 -$36
Hawaii 70,000 33,000 -$18 39,000 34,000 -$7
Idaho 117,000 55,000 -$19 35,000 32,000 -$5
Illinois 886,000 425,000 -$145 349,000 322,000 -$47
Indiana 436,000 212,000 -$74 164,000 153,000 -$22
Iowa 174,000 87,000 -$27 69,000 60,000 -$8
Kansas 148,000 72,000 -$23 51,000 50,000 -$6
Kentucky 343,000 177,000 -$59 207,000 189,000 -$28
Louisiana 436,000 209,000 -$71 174,000 162,000 -$24
Maine 94,000 52,000 -$15 67,000 60,000 -$9
Maryland 301,000 154,000 -$46 147,000 128,000 -$17
Massachusetts 334,000 184,000 -$50 283,000 253,000 -$36
Michigan 769,000 394,000 -$131 461,000 409,000 -$67
Minnesota 239,000 112,000 -$33 114,000 104,000 -$10
Mississippi 307,000 148,000 -$49 119,000 112,000 -$15
Missouri 449,000 218,000 -$71 188,000 175,000 -$22
Montana 55,000 29,000 -$9 24,000 21,000 -$3
Nebraska 89,000 41,000 -$14 35,000 32,000 -$4
Nevada 167,000 77,000 -$24 63,000 59,000 -$7
New Hampshire 49,000 26,000 -$7 33,000 28,000 -$4
New Jersey 364,000 184,000 -$56 195,000 167,000 -$24
New Mexico 217,000 106,000 -$34 62,000 56,000 -$8
New York 1,211,000 649,000 -$207 1,064,000 944,000 -$163
North Carolina 758,000 389,000 -$118 285,000 246,000 -$31
North Dakota 29,000 15,000 -$5 13,000 12,000 -$2
Ohio 792,000 402,000 -$142 412,000 378,000 -$57
Oklahoma 294,000 145,000 -$49 116,000 106,000 -$13
Oregon 304,000 164,000 -$45 159,000 138,000 -$16
Pennsylvania 766,000 366,000 -$120 494,000 440,000 -$68
Rhode Island 64,000 36,000 -$11 46,000 42,000 -$6
South Carolina 401,000 200,000 -$66 142,000 127,000 -$17
South Dakota 52,000 24,000 -$8 20,000 18,000 -$3
Tennessee 560,000 278,000 -$95 252,000 224,000 -$29
Texas 2,360,000 1,085,000 -$342 672,000 609,000 -$95
Utah 151,000 64,000 -$22 38,000 34,000 -$5
Vermont 34,000 19,000 -$5 28,000 24,000 -$4
Virginia 415,000 211,000 -$68 174,000 160,000 -$18
Washington 456,000 231,000 -$67 234,000 208,000 -$27
West Virginia 141,000 75,000 -$23 98,000 87,000 -$11
Wisconsin 379,000 190,000 -$53 164,000 148,000 -$20
Wyoming 17,000 9,000 -$3 6,000 6,000 -$1
Guam 26,000 10,000 -$6 3,000 2,000 -$1
Virgin Islands 12,000 6,000 -$3 4,000 3,000 -$1
Total 21,500,000 10,700,000 -$3,460 9,100,000 8,200,000 -$1,192
Source: CBPP estimates based on USDA’s June 2013 Thrifty Food Plan, CBO May 2013 baseline, 2011 USDA data on SNAP Household Characteristics, recent USDA administrative data on the number of SNAP participants, and U.S. Census Bureau data on state populations.
Notes: The number of SNAP recipients shown is for a typical, or average month in fiscal year 2014.

End notes:

[1] For more information on the temporary benefit boost, see Stacy Dean and Dorothy Rosenbaum, “SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Revised August 2, 2013, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3899.

 

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [“Food Stamps”]: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit Adequacy

English: Logo of the .

English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The USDA asked the IOM and the National Research Council to consider whether it is feasible to objectively define the adequacy of SNAP allotments that meet the program goals and, if so, to outline the data and analyses needed to support and evidence-based assessment of SNAP adequacy.

 

Conclusions include:

 

  • The adequacy of SNAP allotments can be defined
  • The adequacy of SNAP allotments is influenced by individual, household,and environmental factors
    •  Unprocessed foods are the cheapest, yet many do not have the time to “cook from scratch”
    • Food prices vary among regions. While SNAP allotments are adjusted, not enough data to show this is working.
    • Nutrition education seems to be working, but evidence is insufficient.
  • The adequacy of SNAP allotments is influenced by program characteristics. The maximum monthly benefit,benefit reduction rate, and net income calculation have important impacts on SNAP allotments.[See this fact sheet for explanations of these terms]

 

And the Recommendations

 

“The committee offers its recommendations in three areas

  • First, it recommends elements that should be included by USDA-FNS in an evidence-based, objective definition and measurement of the adequacy of SNAP allotments.
  • Second, it recommends monitoring and assessment of the adequacy of SNAP allotments that is needed for evaluation and adjustment over time.
  • Third, it recommends additional research and data needed to support an evidence-based definition of allotment adequacy.
  • In addition, the committee describes other research considerations that would further understanding of allotment adequacy.

 

 

 

[This image is basically unreadable if smaller!, it was copied from the summary of the report]
 

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 5.03.07 AM

 

From the summary of the report at FullTextReports.com

 

For many Americans who live at or below the poverty threshold, access to healthy foods at a reasonable price is a challenge that often places a strain on already limited resources and may compel them to make food choices that are contrary to current nutritional guidance.

To help alleviate this problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers a number of nutrition assistance programs designed to improve access to healthy foods for low-income individuals and households. The largest of these programs is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, which today serves more than 46 million Americans with a program cost in excess of $75 billion annually. The goals of SNAP include raising the level of nutrition among low-income households and maintaining adequate levels of nutrition by increasing the food purchasing power of low-income families.

In response to questions about whether there are different ways to define the adequacy of SNAP allotments consistent with the program goals of improving food security and access to a healthy diet, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study to examine the feasibility of defining the adequacy of SNAP allotments, specifically:

  • the feasibility of establishing an objective, evidence-based, science-driven definition of the adequacy of SNAP allotments consistent with the program goals of improving food security and access to a healthy diet,
  • as well as other relevant dimensions of adequacy;
  • and data and analyses needed to support an evidence-based assessment of the adequacy of SNAP allotments.

 

 

 

January 24, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why are Fewer Moms Applying for Safety Net Program? (and what may be labelled as a rant)

The best measure of a country carries out its responsibilities  is how it uplifts its most vulnerable.
On a related note..I am currently volunteering at the Area Office on Aging, making call backs to folks who indicated an interest in Medicare’s “Extra Help” Prescription Drug Program. Not only is this program not well publicized, but it is a bit on the burdensome side to apply. Yes, it can be argued that we Americans are overmedicated. However, why must it be so burdensome to apply?
And (in my limited exposure to Job and Family Services & a government sponsored employment center)…why are the poor and marginalized so often told they are not trying hard enough and that they are deficient? and that if they only had enough will power and focus they will be successful?
On another note, a 60 minute segment this past Sunday focused on a research scientist who believes addiction is basically chemically based . Brain receptors over time deteriorate so much that one no longer can exercise free will to a degree to overcome their addiction. They cannot will their way out. So, do we give them less or no service because it is their own fault?
What is the humane, compassionate response to those who are not getting basic needs met?  Is it fault based? If we assist, are we enabling? If a person cannot be rehabilitated, do we just give up? How do we live out our beliefs, be it Torah based, Bible based, Quor’an based,  any religion based, secular human based, or other.

I am wondering, just where are we headed.  US government entities justify torture, drone attacks based on possibilities, and also ever increasing surveillance. All in the name of peace and security! In my humble opinion, true peace and security will only come about when we, as people of the earth decide to serve instead of dominate. Share  instead of amass. Learn and collaborate instead of dictate.
Ah, I can dream, can I not? Yet, I still have hope, and hopefully love….as the song goes… Without Love, Where Would We All Be Now?

(If any of you, dear readers agree, disagree, or question any of this, please comment, I will post all comments that are civil!

04_30_story

Oh, here’s an excerpt from the article

…Some advocates worry that needy mothers aren’t bothering to enroll in WIC or are dropping out of it because food stamps are easier to get and easier to use. Food stamps are now provided on an unobtrusive debit-like card, whereas states have until 2020 to provide WIC benefits that way. In many states, WIC benefits are still given as vouchers.

WIC applicants also have different hurdles to clear before they can get their benefits. For example, they must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist who determines whether the individual is at nutrition risk.  Sometimes the applicant must go to a WIC clinic for a free examination; in other cases the information is obtained from the family’s own doctor.

When the recession hit, there was a coordinated government effort to sign people up for food stamps, but that didn’t happen with WIC. “In some cases, outreach wasn’t a priority,” says Geri Henchy of the Food Research and Action Center, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps more important, food stamp benefits can be more generous, especially lately thanks to the federal stimulus package of 2009. In that law, Congress raised the maximum food stamp benefit for households with three members, for example, to $526 a month, from $463, and it will stay at that level until 2014. The average American on food stamps today gets $134 per person a month. The average monthly WIC is $47. Benefits for infants under WIC are better: typically $100 for the infant and $50 for the mother.

“A mother has to make a decision whether it’s worth it,” says Henchy. “In some places, it’s a hassle to sign up,” particularly in some offices that have cut hours because of state budget cuts and furloughs.

 Idaho an example

Idaho is among the states with the biggest drop in WIC participation, nearly a 5 percent decline in the last year. Tom Shanahan, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, attributes the drop to both the declining birth rate and a declining schedule of benefits as children get older. In Idaho, the WIC food package for a formula-fed infant averages $140 per month, while a package for an older child is much lower, averaging $52.50 per month. Similar numbers apply in other states as well.

Additional paperwork also may play a role in mothers dropping out of WIC. Benefits for infants are good until the child turns 1 year old, but children over the age of 1 must be certified every six months.

   moral outrage need not be accompanied by legal punishment. “Maybe human beings have not evolved enough to hold the complex idea that many things can be true at the same time…” 

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , | 2 Comments

   

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