Oh SNAP! Blacks Aren’t The Main Recipients Of Food Stamps (And Other Stigma-Busting Facts)

EBT money

Oftentimes, the same person who’d bash someone for being on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will claim to have sympathy for another person who is starving.

READ: Black Retirement: “Too Poor To Retire, But Too Young To Die”

The stigma surrounding SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is so bad that some individuals and families who need help would rather skimp on meals or live on nutritionally-deficient foods, like ramen noodles. This stigma has even encouraged the government to implement certain changes, like changing the name from food stamps to SNAP and changing the payment method from paper currency to electronic benefit cards (EBT).

But, that’s still not enough for individuals and families who are afraid of being stereotyped at the register.

“Eligibility is based on income, and 47 million people have made the often wrenching decision to take help from the government to put food on the table. Millions more qualify, but they may not know they’re eligible, they may be embarrassed, or they may not want to accept government help,” said Neal Conan on his show Talk of The Nation.

Black people are not the majority of recipients.

According to NPR, nearly 47 million Americans received SNAP in 2013. In 2015, the US Census Bureau reported that one in five children receive SNAP benefits. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of recipients are not African Americans.

In 2013, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients were white, 25.7 percent Black, 10.3 percent Hispanic, 2.1 percent Asian and 1.2 percent Native American according to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.