SNAP in Pennsylvania

  • 1.8 million Pennsylvanians receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits – assistance to purchase food when they need it the most.
  • More than 580,000 households receive SNAP benefits.
  • More than 10,400 retailers throughout Pennsylvania accept SNAP benefits as a form of payment.

Myths and Facts about SNAP

Myth: SNAP is prone to fraud.

FACT: The recipient fraud rate in Pennsylvania is less than 0.1%.

Myth: People receiving SNAP are lazy.

FACT: 85% of families receiving SNAP benefits have at least one worker in the home. Over 50% have two or more workers.

Myth: Most SNAP recipients don’t need this help.

FACT: 50% of SNAP households have children, 28% have seniors, and 49% have someone with a disability.

Myth:  People don’t care about SNAP.

FACT: 82% of the public – across the political spectrum – supports maintaining or increasing government funding for food assistance programs.

Food Assistance Programs Reduce Food Insecurity and Its Negative Impacts

  • Families at risk of hunger who participate in SNAP (food stamps) are twice as likely to be healthy than those who don’t.
  • 15% of children were lifted out of poverty because their families received SNAP benefits.
  • Every $5 of SNAP benefits generates up to $9 in economic activity. In 2013, $2.7 billion of SNAP benefits were redeemed in Pennsylvania. Nationally, more than 10% of all sales for food at home are bought with SNAP benefits.
  • For every additional $1 billion spent on SNAP, up to 19,800 jobs are created.
  • Employed individuals who are food insecure and receive SNAP benefits are more likely to be productive and take fewer sick days.
  • SNAP responds to changes in the economy.  SNAP participation cycles with poverty and unemployment rates—two key drivers of food insecurity.


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