The White House has released state-specific figures on a new study about the benefits of the supplemental nutrition assistance program, more commonly known as food stamps.
It lifts families out of poverty, improves health and helps children disproportionately.
Some report highlights:
· In Arkansas, children account for 224,0000, or 45 percent of SNAP participants, while 32,000 elderly adults account for 6 percent, and 12 percent, or 58,000, of non-elderly adults have a disability.
· Fifty-seven percent of working-age adults receiving SNAP are either working or looking for work, while 22 percent do not work due to a disability. Many recipients are also the primary caregivers of young children or family members with disabilities.
· Among adults who grew up in disadvantaged households when the Food Stamp Program was first being introduced, access to Food Stamps before birth and in early childhood led to significant reductions in the likelihood of obesity and significant increases in the likelihood of completing high school.
· Early exposure to food stamps also led to reductions in metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes) and increased economic self-sufficiency among disadvantaged women.
· Maternal receipt of Food Stamps during pregnancy reduces the incidence of low birth-weight by between 5 and 23 percent.
· Exposure to food assistance in utero and through early childhood has large overall health and economic self-sufficiency impacts for disadvantaged women.
· SNAP also supports work through the Employment and Training program, which directly helps SNAP beneficiaries gain the skills they need to succeed in the labor market in order to find and retain work.
* Even with SNAP’s positive impact, nearly one in seven American households, including 15 million children and 232,000 families in Arkansas, experienced food insecurity in 2014.