What is the SNAP program? It is a Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program, the same as Food Stamps.

SNAP is responsive to changes in need, providing needed food assistance as families fall into economic hardship and then transitioning away as their financial situation stabilizes. The average length of time a new participant stays on the program is 8 to 10 months.

SNAP participation historically follows unemployment with a slight lag.  SNAP participation grew during the recession, responding quickly and effectively to increased need.  As the number of unemployed people increased by 94% from 2007 to 2011, SNAP responded with a 70% increase in participating over the same period.

As the economy recovers and people go back to work, SNAP participation and program costs, too, can be expected to decline.  Unemployment has begun to slowly fall, and SNAP participation growth has flattened   The congressional Budget Office projects SNAP participation to begin declining in 2015, with both unemployment and SNAP participation returning to near pre-recession levels by 2022.

SNAP benefits don’t last most participants the whole month, 90% of SNAP benefits are redeemed by the third week of the month, and 58% of food bank clients currently receiving SNAP benefits turn to food banks for assistance at least 6 months out of the year.

The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal.

POVERTY & FOOD INSECURITY IN THE FOOD BANK’S SERVICE AREA - One of six residents (16.5%) lived in poverty.  One in four children (25.3%) lived in poverty.  More than one in three residents (650,000 residents, or 35.5%) lived below 200% of poverty, qualifying them for emergency food assistance programs.  Nearly half of children (195,000 children, or 47%) lived below 200% poverty. Thats why Cleveland Food Bank understand that people are going through hard times, and is helping people through Benefits Outreach Counselors in the community as well in the help center at the Cleveland Food Bank for people to apply for SNAP.  Please call us at 216-738-2067 or visit our Web site. for more information. 

Yolanda Castro

My name is Yolanda Castro, I am a Benefit Outreach Counselor for the Cleveland Food Bank. I work directly with the community in Euclid and Cleveland. We recently open a Help Center at the Cleveland Food Bank to help people that are in need. For example we help people to apply for the Food Stamps Benefits (SNAP Program) also give them information how we can refer them to get food assistance. I would like to have the opportunity to write an article for your News Paper about How the Cleveland Food Bank is helping the community. Thanks Yolanda Castro The Cleveland Food Bank Te:l 216-738-2265-Ext. 2206

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 1:47 PM, 08.05.2014