The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the new name for the food stamp program, is the largest and most effective program for addressing hunger. It is designed to expand in times of need and contract when the need decreases. During the current recession SNAP has effectively pulled 2.4 million American households out of poverty and approximately 3 million more households to above half of the poverty guideline. Only half of the Texans eligible for SNAP benefits are currently accessing the program. This lack of participation is causing Texas to miss out on $4 billion, which could be coming into the state to spur economic growth. Additionally every $5 of SNAP benefits has an economic multiplier effect of $9 to the local economy, which translates into jobs and more local spending.
THI is developing plans to address the lack of program knowledge of those eligible for the assistance. SNAP has the ability to translate into large savings for Texas in cut health care costs and other social services while addressing food needs of our citizens.