"Who Gets Food Stamps?
The most recent Department of Agriculture report on the general characteristics of the SNAP program’s beneficiaries says that in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010:
47 percent of beneficiaries were children under age 18.
8 percent were age 60 or older.
41 percent lived in a household with earnings from a job — the so-called “working poor.”
The average household received a monthly benefit of $287.
36 percent were white (non-Hispanic), 22 percent were African American (non-Hispanic) and 10 percent were Hispanic (Table A.21).
Update, Feb. 5: USDA data understate these figures, however, because participants are not required to state their race or ethnic background. As a result, 18.9 percent are listed as “race unknown.”) A more accurate estimate of the racial and ethnic composition of food-stamp recipients can be drawn from U.S. Census data, based on a sample of households surveyed each year in the American Community Survey. For 2010, Census data show the following for households that reported getting food stamp assistance during the year:
49 percent were white (non-Hispanic); 26 percent were black or African American; and 20 percent were Hispanic (of any race)."