New data challenges the stereotype that receiving food stamps discourages working.
By Joseph Erbentraut, 03/16/2017 06:26 pm ET
Newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides more evidence of just how many low-income households continue to struggle to put food on the table.
According to a recent report from the USDA, an increasing share of individuals who receive benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, also known as food stamps, live in households where at least one person is working.
Nearly 32 percent of SNAP households are home to at least one wage-earner, according to the most recent data on the program, compared to only 19.6 percent in 1989, as far back as USDA data is availabe.
At the same time, a decreasing share of SNAP recipients are concurrently receiving welfare benefits from other safety net programs like the Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs. As of the most recent data, about 6 percent of SNAP recipients are also receiving support through these programs, compared to about 42 percent of recipients in 1989.
While the trend of SNAP recipients increasingly working is not new, Carrie Calvert, director of tax and commodity policy at Feeding America, a national network of food banks, said the USDA numbers are indicative of the U.S. economy’s uneven recovery.