Press Releases

JEC Releases New Report on Economic Benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Nov 22 2011


Washington, D.C.
- A new report entitled, “Lifeline for Families, Support for the Economy: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) finds that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) not only provides much-needed support for vulnerable Americans, but also gives a significant boost to economy. According to recent estimates, one dollar of spending on SNAP increases GDP by as much as $1.79 – a significant “bang for the buck,” – and an increase of $1 billion in SNAP spending generates as many as 17,900 full-time jobs.

“With Thanksgiving upon us, it is important that we remember  that in these tough economic times, more families depend on SNAP so they don't go hungry,” said Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the JEC. “This report shows that SNAP benefits play an increasingly important role in providing food security as unemployment spells lengthen, while helping to provide a boost to the economy.”

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, provides critical support to individuals and families during hard economic times. SNAP benefits, while modest, work to guard against malnutrition and other negative outcomes resulting from food insecurity.

“We must make sure that unemployed Americans have the best support system possible that provides them with some peace of mind while they continue to search for a job. Many long-term unemployed workers have run out of unemployment insurance benefits, and many more may exhaust their benefits soon,” said Chairman Casey.

SNAP benefits are particularly valuable for the long-term unemployed and their families, since the program is one of only a few sources of public support for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. More than one in five workers unemployed for over six months received SNAP benefits last year.

Continued Casey, “At a time of economic uncertainty, SNAP helps alleviate hunger for those who need help, while increasing purchasing power for low-income consumers. SNAP supports consumer spending during economic downturns, saving jobs in a variety of sectors of the economy. It is a program that many in the Commonwealth and around the country cannot live without.”

 

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