United Ways in Pennsylvania are focused on ensuring food security for all Pennsylvanians in every community. Part of their missions to focus on the health of every person includes fighting for food programs that help low-income Pennsylvanians have access to food to nourish their bodies. The Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) is one such program.
SNAP is the nation's largest anti-hunger program, which provides timely, targeted and temporary support to low-income households for the purchase of food. SNAP serves households with income up to 130% of the federal poverty line that meet asset limitations. Nearly 88% of SNAP households include children, the elderly or persons with disabilities. The average monthly SNAP benefit per person in 2017 was about $4.13 a day.
In 2017, about 42 million people access food through SNAP. In 2016 in Pennsylvania, 15% of residents utilized SNAP, which is roughly 1,864,000 people.
SNAP Works for Families, Communities and the Economy
SNAP supports work: SNAP supplements the income of low-wage earners helping working families make ends meet and is carefully structured to encourage work. SNAP Employment & Training dollars help workers prepare for and secure jobs.
SNAP reduces poverty: In 2014, SNAP kept over 8 million people- including 4 million children - out of poverty and boosted up more than 25 million others.
SNAP promotes economic activity: SNAP helps families buy food, freeing up resources to pay for other basic needs to get by, which infuses additional dollars into the local economy Moody's Analytics estimates that every $1 increase in household SNAP generates about $1.70 in economic activity.
SNAP supports health and education: Children with regular access to nutritious food have improved academic performance and have decreased risk of behavior problems, obesity, illness and infection. Further, pregnant mothers have improved birth outcomes & the elderly are less likely to forego prescription medications.