SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, have had a direct impact on the poverty and health of New Jersey families, according to a new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors. According to the report, the program serves 405,000 children (138,000 of whom are pre-school aged), 112,000 elderly adults, and 85,000 adults with a disability in the Garden State. Fifty-seven percent of working-age adults who receive benefits are looking for work and 22 percent cannot work due to a disability.
The report found that 33 percent of recipients were in what is considered “deep poverty” or had income below half of the poverty line. On average, these families were at 70 percent of the poverty line. The use of SNAP benefits raised 67,000 families above the poverty line in 2013, and 61,000 out of deep poverty.