The food stamp program we know today, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – aka SNAP – was created by the US federal government to eliminate hunger and move people towards self-sufficiency. SNAP was built on the foundation of the first food stamp program, which was established in 1939. The initial program, which evolved over decades, began to be called SNAP in 2008.
See: SNAP benefits available in your state in 2022
Find: 10 things most Americans don’t know about SNAP
More than 42 million eligible people in the United States currently use SNAP benefits to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, breads, cereals, snacks, beverages non-alcoholic and seeds and plants that produce food. However, items such as cleaning supplies, pet food, hygiene products, cosmetics, and ready-to-eat hot foods cannot be purchased with these government-issued benefits.
To qualify for SNAP benefits, you must not exceed SNAP gross and net monthly income limits or program resource limits. For example, a family of four cannot exceed a monthly gross income of $2,871, a monthly net income of $2,209, or $2,500 in accounting resources, such as cash or money in a Bank account. It is important to note that if a family member is at least 60 years old or is disabled, different limits will apply.
To determine the 15 states where the most people rely on SNAP for their groceries, GOBankingRates referred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Number of Person’s Participating” report, specifically the data from December 2020 and December 2021. To help take a step back, the total population of each state is included, according to the latest US Census Bureau estimates as of July 2021.
Some of the states listed have seen an increase in SNAP participation since December 2020 and some have seen a decrease. However, what the 15 states have in common is that their populations have the most people who rely on SNAP for their groceries, compared to other states.