RIP: Food Stamps

On June 17, 2009 all food stamps expire as they will all be replaced by EBT cards (debit cards). These are easier to deal with, they are more discreet, and grocery stores don’t have to deal with change.

Here are some other facts about the food stamp program:

1. 28 million people use them

2. There has been a name change from “The Federal Food Stamp Program” to SNAP – “supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” since no stamps are involved any more

3.  You can see if you qualify for food stamps using the “Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool”   here http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/

4. You must have made less than $32,244 for 5 people in the household (and then meet a complicated net income test) last year. (130% of the poverty rate)

5. The maximum monthly allotment is $952 for a family of 6.

7. I got this information here: http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/ on May 27, 2009.

8. I wonder how long it will take before people stop talking about food stamps and start calling them SNAP.

9. The first food stamp program was put in place during WW II, because there was more food than money. It was restarted in 1961 under Kennedy and has grown since then.

10. Food stamps are now worthless from the government’s point of view. They are also not very valuable as collector’s items. There are too many of them compared to the number of people collecting them.  WW II food stamps are about $10 on ebay.

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