SNAP is the foundation of nutrition assistance programs. This program provides over 47 million individuals in nearly 23 million low-income households. The eligibility is not restricted to certain groups of individuals, and because of this, SNAP serves a vast amount of families with children, elderly people, and individuals with disabilities. Others eligible for SNAP include families with adults who work in low-wage jobs, unemployed workers, and those with a fixed income. The SNAP Program assists about 72 percent of people who live in households with children. Nearly 25 percent of households with seniors and individuals with disabilities, are also assisted (Rosenbaum, 2013).
SNAP has responded effectively to the recession. The amount of caseloads has increased between 2007 and 2011. The reason for this increase is because the economic recession hurt the economic resources of millions of people. This caused an increase in the number of low-income households, which also increased the amount of families and individuals who applied and qualified for help through SNAP. The 2009 Recovery Act also increased SNAP benefits. The 2009 Recovery Act was signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. This act was passed to put forth an effort to inspire our economy, create and save jobs, and recognize the long-neglected challenges this country faces. The goals of the Recovery Act include modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, enhancing energy independence, expanding educational opportunities, improving healthcare, providing tax relief, and protecting those in greatest need (Rosenbaum, 2013). “Policy makers deemed SNAP to be effective for this purpose because of its broad reach among low-income populations and its high efficiency” (Rosenbaum, 2013).
SNAP reaches a higher share of people who are eligible. SNAP reached about 75 percent of all eligible people in an average month in 2010. This was a large improvement from 2002, when the SNAP participation rate was at only 54 percent. The participation rate among low-income working families increased from 43 percent in 2002 to 65 percent in 2010. SNAP payment efficiency is at an all-time high. Of all public benefit programs, SNAP has one of the most accurate quality control systems. Although there has been a growth in caseloads, the share of SNAP payments has reached a record low in fiscal year 2011 (Rosenbaum, 2013).
There are many strengths within the SNAP Program. However, with these advantages come limitations. One major advantage that many SNAP households appreciate is the development of the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). Individuals using the EBT card feel that by using a plastic form of payment, it is inconspicuous. It reduces the stigma many people feel from using SNAP benefits. Another advantage with the EBT card is that individuals no longer have to go anywhere to receive benefits. The benefits are directly deposited onto the card, and many households like this...