Food Stamps Explained

Food Stamps Explained

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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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