Great information from our friends at FRAC, the Food Research and Action Center: USDA researchers, using Current Population Survey data to examine SNAP’s effect on poverty from 2000 to 2009, found that the prevalence of poverty declined an average of 4.4 percent due to SNAP/Food Stamp benefits, with the average decline in the depth and severity of poverty at 10.3 and 13.2 percent, respectively. SNAP/Food Stamps reduced the depth of child poverty by an average of 15.5 percent, and child poverty severity by an average of 21.3 percent.
When SNAP/Food Stamp benefits were increased through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, (overview & link to final text of the bill) the SNAP/Food Stamp anti-poverty effect peaked. SNAP/Food Stamps served 44.7 million Americans in an average month in 2011. “Our analysis shows that SNAP significantly improves the welfare of low-income households,” note the researchers. Follow this link to the report, titled “Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits.”