Issue Brief 9-01
January 8, 2009

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently updated its figures for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The participation rate increased more than 17% between September 2007 and September 2008, a clear indicator of current economic conditions. In anticipation of a stimulus package to be considered in Congress, advocacy groups are calling for an increase in the SNAP benefit amount as well as providing more funds for state administrative costs. Sharing their view are economists who believe that dollar-for-dollar, an increase in SNAP benefits would be the best type of stimulus to jump-start the economy.