A great deal has been written recently regarding the abuse of food stamps. The recent legislation passed in the House has cut nearly $40 billion from this vital program. I decided to do some research to try to understand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) a little better. I was surprised to learn that the maximum benefit a couple could receive was $6.11 per person per day, based on a 30 day month.
This amount does not leave much room for abuse and pretty much puts to sleep the stories of exorbitant amounts of money spent in stores for food and other “goodies.” I was also surprised to read about what you can and cannot buy. I must also add that the $6.11 amount is the “maximum” daily benefit; the SNAP benefit is reduced using a formula, if there is any additional income. I for one would not want to try figure out how I would prepare three meals a day with six bucks.
With many of our retirees having to retire without pensions or with reduced pensions, it is becoming more important that we make sure that our elected officials do not become over zealous in their attempt to reduce the deficit, that they created, on the backs of our retirees. While there may be misuse in the system, I hope they concentrate on addressing those issues instead of attacking the safety net of the young and elderly who have come to need this benefit just to be able to feed themselves.
Bill Pienta, SOAR President