The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP and formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, has been a lifeline for millions of Americans around the country who have struggled to put enough food on the table since 1939 when it was initially implemented.

The program came to be in the aftermath of the Great Depression when millions of Americans were out of work and largely impoverished. To help prevent large sections of the population from starving, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created. It was on May 16, 1939, that the first food stamp benefits were paid out and according to USDA records, the very first recipient of Food Stamps was in Rochester, New York.

Over the last 84 years, food stamps have provided a bridge for adults, children, and families to receive nutritious meals. However, in recent years, there has been a growing outcry about the amount of potential waste in the food stamp program and the amount of benefits that are wasted on food that has no nutritional value.

New York Spends A Lot Of Money On Food Stamps

Even though New York is the 4th largest state by population, it spends more money than nearly every other state in the country. In the month of August 2023 alone, New York Spent more than $600 million on food stamp benefits.

If current estimates are accurate, more than $150 million was wasted on junk food.

With such a high number being claimed to be wasted every single month, there are federal politicians seeking to amend what SNAP benefits can be used to pay for.

Floria Senator Marco Rubio has a plan that would prevent people from being able to buy junk food and soda with their food stamp benefits.

If this plan goes into effect, millions of New Yorkers would be impacted.

Should New York prevent food stamp recipients from being able to buy junk food and soda? Or should things be left alone, and recipients be allowed to spend their benefits on what they choose?

These Counties Have The Most Food Stamp Recipients Per Capita In New York

SNAP usage has increased across the state since the start of the pandemic

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

These Counties Have The Most Temporary Assistance Recipients Per Capita In New York State

Temporary Assistance (TA) usage, also known as Public Assistance (PA), has increased steadily over the last few years.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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