Children’s HealthWatch research on SNAP was highlighted in a Huffington Post blog entry by Deborah Weinstein.
Time to Tell the Truth About Food Stamps
Does it make any difference that families receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps) will have less to spend on food this month? Starting November 1, a family of four will lose $36 per month; or $29 for a three-person family. The loss of $30-$36 per month is a big deal to families living right on the edge. Even before this month’s reduction, families often ran out of food. We know this not only from the people that run food banks and food pantries, who see longer lines at the end of each month, but also from evidence of the problems that hunger causes. For example, by the end of the month students that rely on SNAP are hungry, so they get in more trouble at school. When they participate in afterschool programs that feed them, they are less likely to get in trouble at the end of the month.
The truth: SNAP plays a vital role in preventing hunger and food insecurity, responding to high unemployment and helping people with nowhere else to turn. SNAP matters to children’s health. When households with children start receiving SNAP benefits, 37 percent are food insecure. After receiving SNAP for 6 months, food insecurity drops to 24.1 percent, according to the USDA. The medical research project Children’s HealthWatch has documented that young children in food insecure households are more likely to suffer ill health, hospitalizations, and developmental delays, and confirms that children in families receiving SNAP are less likely to be food insecure than other similarly poor families.