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.