The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is the nation’s largest public food assistance program. Its primary purpose is to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households in order to improve their nutrition and alleviate hunger. The program has a strong counter-cyclical economic impact, as more people become eligible for support during economic downturns and recessions.
To be eligible for SNAP, a household must have gross monthly income (income before any of the program’s deductions are applied) at or below 130 percent of the poverty line and net income (income after deductions are applied) at or below the poverty line.
In Oklahoma, 389,332 families and 816,375 total individuals received SNAP benefits at some point in FY 2020. The program paid out a total of $949 million in benefits, with an average daily benefit of $4 per participant. The great majority of SNAP recipients are low-income families with dependent children, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
SNAP is paid for by the federal government and administered jointly by the US Department of Agriculture and state human services agencies (Oklahoma Department of Human Services).