SNAP Series Part 1: What is SNAP?


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger in America. SNAP puts food back into the hands of more than 672,000 Central Floridians every month who have no idea where their next meal will come from.

SNAP is a timely, targeted and temporary method of providing food. It is targeted to our most vulnerable citizens – two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, seniors and those with disabilities1. The program was designed to phase out as participants get back on their feet, with an average Florida family staying on for less than a year. For every meal that Second Harvest Food Bank provides, SNAP provides 12 meals.

In FY2016, SNAP provided food assistance directly to around 3,454,500 individuals in Florida. 62% of whom are children, seniors or disabled. The program infused $5,220,518,996 in food benefits to Florida and generated around $8,874,882,000 in economic activity to our communities, farmers’ markets, small businesses, major retailers and many more.


1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Policy Support,
Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2016,
by Sarah Lauffer. Project Officer, Jenny Genser. Alexandria, VA, 2017.

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