9 Myths About SNAP Benefits

9 Myths About SNAP Benefits

Debunked
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Republicans now have control of the House, Senate, and Executive branches, which means many governmental assistance programs are in danger. Trump’s already endorsed Paul Ryan’s plans on cutting Medicaid and he has a history of attacking food stamps extensively. This is a danger for America's low-income citizens. Most of the hatred that is targeted at the food stamps program is based on highly false misconceptions, and most people have no idea how wrong these conceptions are.

First off, Food Stamps, EBT, and SNAP benefits are all the same thing, but they are officially called SNAP benefits, and therefore will be referred to as such in this article.


Myth 1. The hungry Americans are the homeless populations.

Truth: A majority of the hungry citizens aren't homeless - they just earn too little of money to afford all the nutritious food they need. Hungry families live in urban and rural areas, and the numbers in suburban areas are increasing. (Although no one is denying the fact that the homeless population is also hungry).

Source: NYC Coalition Against Hunger


Myth 2. People who get SNAP don't work.

Truth: The majority of SNAP recipients that can work do work. Most able-bodied recipients are working full or part time.

Source: OccupyDemocrats.com & The Hunger Coalition


Myth 3. Snap is a drain on tax-payers.

Truth: Every $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.73 in economic activity (Occupy Democrats reports $1.76 in economic growth). Food Stamps are the most effective economic stimulus available.

Source: The Hunger Coalition & Occupy Democrats


Myth 4. SNAP is full of fraud and abuse.

Truth: SNAP has a fraud rate that is less than 3% (Occupy Democrats reports less than 1%), which is the lowest of any public health benefit.

Source: The Hunger Coalition


Myth 5. SNAP benefits go to undocumented immigrants.

Truth: Undocumented immigrants have NEVER been eligible for SNAP benefits - they are actually very unlikely to apply because they fear deportation. In actuality, the largest food stamp recipients are white children, followed by disabled and senior citizens.

Source: OccupyDemocrats.com & The Hunger Coalition


Myth 6. People using SNAP creates a dependency, where they stay on SNAP and abuse the system.

Truth: A majority of beneficiaries use SNAP benefits for just six-ten months.

Source: OccupyDemocrats.com


Myth 7. The EBT card makes it so that people can buy anything with their SNAP benefits.

Truth: There are clear restrictions on what items can be purchased with SNAP benefits. The following are prohibited: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco products, vitamins and medicine, prepared hot foods (which also means that EBT cards cannot be used in restaurants), and any non-food items. The EBT card is meant to streamline administration and reduce stigma.

Also, according to The New York Times, SNAP benefits fraud has gradually decreased since the USDA replaced paper vouchers with EBT cards in the late 1990's.

Source: The Huffington Post


Myth 8. Eligibility requirements are not strict enough, and enrolling in SNAP benefits is too easy.

Truth: Eligibility is determined based on the number of eligible household members, documentation of income and deduction, and household composition (elderly, disabled, etc.). A household is eligible for SNAP if it's income is lower than 130-200% of the Federal Poverty Level (this percent-rate varies from state to state). Only 72% of all people who are eligible for SNAP and 60% of the working poor actually received benefits. It may seem like SNAP benefits are easy to obtain because more individuals are currently enrolled in the program (one in seven Americans). But this dramatic increase in numbers reflects the fact that more households are experiencing hardship because of the current economic climate.

Source: The Huffington Post


Myth 9. People on SNAP benefits are buying more unhealthy food than non-SNAP families.

Truth: The USDA's study found both food stamp recipients and other households generally made similar purchases - so it's not just SNAP beneficiaries making unhealthy food choices.

Source: TalkPoverty.Org


These are difficult truths for people to accept because it goes against the common (but very false) misconception that people on food stamps are lazy, unemployed, drug-addicted welfare queens leeching off the taxpayers. But it's important for people to become educated on the real truths about SNAP benefits, so that the people that desperately need SNAP assistance, can continue to recieve them.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
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They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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We all know the risk of dropping a Hydro Flask.

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My friend Julia showing off her straw lid Hydro Flask.Abigail Cawthorn


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