Posted by: Teaway Zehyoue Collins
Louisiana’s Food Stamp Program enables over 800,000 low-income residents in Louisiana to avoid hunger and malnutrition. The cost of the Food Stamp benefits, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is paid by the federal government, with the state having to pay only a portion of the cost to administer the program. Thus, it cost Louisiana only $2.6 million annually to administer the Food Stamp Program that provides over $1.1 billion in food stamps to Louisianans annually. This is money that quickly goes into local economies as recipients buy groceries for their families.
Food stamp benefits are a significant supplement to qualifying families’ overall income and are available to all who qualify. To qualify for food stamps, household income cannot exceed 130% of the federal poverty line which is $2,389 a month for a family of four. A family of four at that level would qualify for $668 in food stamps monthly. A family of two (mother and child for example) with a monthly income of $1,579 would qualify for $367 in food stamps. In addition, food stamps are made available to qualifying families and individuals in federally declared disaster areas, such as Louisiana areas hit by hurricanes. These Disaster Food Stamps enable families to replace food lost during a disaster when, for example, they have to evacuate or power is lost for an extended period of time.