Rachel Sheffield and T. Elliot Gaiser May 27, 2013
A recent US News & World Report article set out to unveil the “facts” about food stamps. What are the so-called “facts”? For one, the article claims that the food stamps program is not “bloated,” but rather, the surge in participation and spending is a result of the program “doing what it’s supposed to do.” But what is it “supposed to do”?
Food stamps (or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as it is now called) were designed to ensure that Americans without the ability to provide for themselves are able to receive basic nutrition. However, application loopholes and policy changes over the past decade or so have allowed recipients to bypass income and asset tests, meaning many people are receiving food stamps who would not have been eligible under the program’s original purposes.
One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure. As Heritage welfare experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley write:….To Read More…. .
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