Count low-income veterans — thousands in every state, according to a new Center analysis — among the nearly 48 million people whose nutrition benefits will be cut later this week. As we’ve previously explained, the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ends on November 1, which will result in a benefit cut for each of the program’s recipients.
The 2009 Recovery Act temporarily boosted SNAP benefits as a form of effective economic stimulus and to reduce the hardship that low-income families faced during the recession. This benefit increase is set to expire on November 1. The coming benefit cut will reduce SNAP benefits, which are already modest, for all households by 7 percent on average, or about $10 per person per month. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2014 will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.
For low-income veterans, who may be unemployed, working in low-wage jobs, or disabled, SNAP provides an essential support that enables them to purchase nutritious food for their families.
Our new analysis, which uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that thousands of veterans lived in SNAP households in every state between 2009 and 2011. For instance, more than 100,000 veterans lived in SNAP households in two states: Florida (109,500) and Texas (105,700).
This benefit cut hits as the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are beginning their conference committee negotiations on the Farm Bill, which includes a reauthorization of — and proposed cuts to — SNAP. The House version of the bill would cut SNAP by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years, denying benefits to about 3.8 million people in 2014 and an average of 3 million people each year over the coming decade.