Chart Book: SNAP Helps Struggling Families Put Food on the Table

Close to Two-Thirds of SNAP Recipients Are Children, Elderly, or DisabledThe following analysis is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. It is a powerful antidote to extreme poverty. 

As the chart to the right shows, close to two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly, or disabled.

The number of extremely poor families — those living on less than $2 per person a day — more than doubled between 1996 and 2011, to 1.46 million. The number of extremely poor children also doubled, to 2.8 million. But, counting SNAP benefits as income reduces the number of households in extreme poverty in 2011 from 1.46 million to nearly 800,000. And it cuts the number of children in extreme poverty in 2011 in half — from 2.8 million to 1.4 million.

View the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' SNAP Chartbook

View Other Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Resources on SNAP