Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich likes to pump himself up by picking on other people. Several weeks back his target was “children in the poorest neighborhoods.” Now it’s people who receive food assistance.
Others have checked his claims about President Obama being the “food stamp President,” but Gingrich also suggested that if you are on food stamps, you aren’t earning a paycheck. According to data assembled by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, however, a hefty portion of households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are working. The data for 2010 indicates that about 38% percent of single-adult SNAP households with children had earned income, and about 64% of married-head SNAP households with children had earned income.
Here are a few other facts I learned about SNAP recipients in 2010:
*On average, about 40.3 million U.S. resident receive per month receive SNAP assistance nationwide. That’s about 13% of the U.S. population.
*About 85% of SNAP households have annual income below the federal poverty line. For a two-person household (e.g., mother and child) that’s an $14,570 annual income; for a family of four, that’s an annual income of $22,050.
*About 76% of SNAP households included either a child or an elderly or disabled person; these households received 84 percent of SNAP’s total annual benefit.
The complete report on SNAP recipients in 2010 provides more detailed characteristics and State-specific data.
In response to GOP candidate Gingrich’s assertion that “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history,” the White House called that claim “crazy.” The White House press secretary added:
“It was the result of the worst recession since the Great Depression, that was brought on by economic policies that certainly predate this president.”