Report Finds Food Stamps Help Lift People Out Of Poverty

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
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As the economy has recovered from the Great Recession, several states has reinstated requirements that people work or attend some kind of vocational training while receiving food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A new report from the White House found that receiving benefits doesn’t stop people working to begin with, The Huffington Post reported.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers said  the use of SNAP helps reduce hunger and allows individuals and families climb out of poverty. SNAP also improves the health of juvenile recipients for the rest of their life, the report, released on Dec. 8, noted. 

The report also concluded that receiving food stamps doesn’t make people less likely to work or reduce their efforts. "The existing research suggests that the effects are either modest or negligible,” it read.

More than 45 million Americans receive SNAP benefits. "Among working-age adults, some are not working because they are the primary caregivers of young children or a disabled family member, and 22 percent are exempt from work due to disability, but a full 57 percent are either working or are unemployed and looking for work," the report reads.

Republicans are still critical of the program. Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, noted that SNAP recipients lose their eligibility if they earn a certain amount of money.

"SNAP does not operate in a vacuum in lives of families, and we have heard repeatedly during our hearing series that when SNAP is combined with other programs, it can create a welfare cliff that is difficult to overcome,” he said. "Our welfare system should not be a trap that prevents individuals from pursuing work, achieving their potential, and climbing the economic ladder.”

Sources: The Huffington Post, The White House / Photo credit: Eddie Welker/Flickr