Taking a Look at Food Stamps in Montana

Food Stamps in Montana…

During the holiday season, when plates get piled high with family meals, this becomes the hallmark image of how people celebrate and eat around this time of year.

However, thinking about how food gets to those plates is a different image.  Many people may not consider those using Food Stamps to purchase food during the holidays, and year round.  People may also not know that 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Food Stamp program.   Now known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP for short, it provides a wide range of people (single households, families with children, elderly, and people with disabilities) with low incomes more food security.  With the year winding down, here is some information about Food Stamps in Montana.  

Hunger

  • 1 in 5 Americans have difficulty affording food.
  • 1 in 7 Montanans are affected by hunger.
  • 48,000 children in Montana live in food insecure homes.

SNAP

  • 46.5 million people are enrolled in SNAP nationwide.
  • In 2011, Montanans received $193.3 million in food benefits.
  • Almost 125,000 Montanans receive SNAP monthly.
  • In 2013, the average monthly benefit per person was $124.65 with a household average of $269.73.

Economic Activity

  • Each dollar in SNAP benefits creates $1.80 in economic activity.
  • In 2013, $1 billion in SNAP benefits supported 8,900 to 17,900 jobs.  Including 3,000 farm jobs.
  • In 2009-2011 82% of Montanan households receiving SNAP had 1 or more worker. 

Access to Benefits

          – 58% of respondents receive SNAP benefits.  Of the remaining respondents not on SNAP, 32% said they didn’t know they would be eligible.

          – SNAP still only reaches about 75% of eligible people in Montana.

To see if you are eligible, and to apply for SNAP visit http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/snap

To screen a client for SNAP eligibility visit Bridge to Benefits http://montana.bridgetobenefits.org/

To find the nearest Office of Public Assistance visit http://dphhs.mt.gov/contact/humancommunityservices

You can find the MFBN Hungry in Montana 2014 report http://mfbn.org/learn/outreach-education/research-and-reports

Resources for this article:

http://www.fns.usda.gov/ops/snap-community-characteristics-montana

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err116.aspx#.UkCsxH82fNJ

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3239

http://frac.org/initiatives/american-recovery-and-reinvestment-act/snapfood-stamps-provide-real-stimulus/

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

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