Food Stamps Facts from the USDA

Thursday, August 9, 2018

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, about 45.8 million people living in 22.5 million U.S. households participated in the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), on average, per month. SNAP households are a diverse group. Because benefits are available to most low-income households with few resources, regardless of age, disability status, or family structure, participants represent a broad cross section of the Nation's poor. Nearly two-thirds of SNAP participants were children, elderly, or had disabilities.

Forty-four percent of participants were under age 18, 11 percent were age 60 or older, and 10 percent were disabled non-elderly adults.

Many SNAP participants had jobs. Nearly one third (32 percent) of all SNAP households – and more than half (55 percent) of households with children – had earnings in 2015. Overall, 44 percent of SNAP participants lived in a household with earnings. SNAP households had little income. Over 22 percent of SNAP households had no cash income of any kind in the month the data were collected. Less than 18 percent had gross income above the poverty line, while 42 percent had income at or below half the poverty line.

The average SNAP household income was 59 percent of the poverty line. Average gross income for all SNAP households was $786 per month, up from $762 in real terms in FY 2014. The majority of SNAP households did not receive cash welfare benefits.

Less than 6 percent of all SNAP households received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, and only 3 percent received State General Assistance benefits.

Nearly 25 percent of SNAP households received Social Security, and almost 21 percent received Supplemental Security Income benefits given to the aged and disabled.

The average SNAP household received $254 in monthly benefits. Forty-one percent of SNAP households received the maximum benefit for their family size.

Only 7 percent received the minimum benefit ($16), available to households with one or two members. For the average SNAP household, nearly one-quarter of monthly funds (gross income plus SNAP benefits) came from SNAP. Most SNAP households were small.

Fifty-three percent of SNAP households contained only one person. The average SNAP household size was 2.0 persons, but varied considerably by household composition. Households with children were larger, averaging 3.2 members, while households with elderly participants were smaller, averaging 1.3 members.

Most SNAP households live in major metropolitan areas, but a substantial number live outside of them.

Eighty-two percent of SNAP households live in or near large cities, while about 10 percent live in or near smaller cities and towns and nearly 7 percent live in rural areas. SNAP has a powerful antipoverty effect.

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Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 10:00am
    An Overeaters Anonymous group will meet every Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Grace Fellowship Church, Absarokee.
  • Monday, October 1, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.