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Food Stamps Explained

Food Stamps ExplainedFood stamps are an essential part of the United States Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program. The Food Stamp Program, that operates
under the aforementioned umbrella, is a federal program that provides
assistance to low-income individuals and families. Through the Food
Stamp Program, needy-individuals are awarded food and utensils at
highly-discounted rates. Through government funding, individuals
involved in the program can obtain food and other necessities at their
local grocery store, for a price that is properly aligned with their
budget.

Food stamps are distributed on a local level, through
the individual state’s government. In modern times, all food stamp
benefits are collected and distributed by using cards. The name,
however, stems from the history of the program, where paper
denominational stamps were used to purchase prepackaged foods. The Food
Stamp program went through a transformation in the late 1990s, when
actual food stamps were replaced with a specialized debit-card system.

Currently,
a number of states have merged their food stamp programs with their
coordinating public-assistance welfare program. As of February 2010,
nearly 40 million Americans receive food stamps to feed themselves and
their families at a discounted rate. The amount of food stamps awarded
to a family is dependent on a number of variables.

The presence of
children, employment status, the individual’s location, and their
monthly income is factored into the amount of benefits they receive. On
average, the amount of monthly benefits awarded to an individual
involved in the program is $133.12. To qualify, recipients must possess
incomes near-poverty levels.

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