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SNAP Helps Seniors in Pennsylvania

While SNAP is important to all who receive benefits, the program is especially critical to seniors, who often face higher health care costs and are therefor forced to decide between medication and essentials like food.

Consider the following statistics from fiscal year 2015:

  • 229,000 low-income seniors in 206,000 households participated in the SNAP program. Their average monthly income was about $1,000.
  • SNAP helps seniors buy food. SNAP households with elderly members received an average of $121 in food stamp benefits each month, boosting their monthly income.
  • SNAP puts money into Pennsylvania's economy. SNAP provided seniors in Pennsylvania with $299 million in food each month. This is money pumped into Pennsylvania's economy when seniors purchase food. 

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities tabulations of FY 2015 USDA SNAP Household Characteristics data.

In Pennsylvania, the average monthly income for a senior receiving SNAP was $1,000 in 2015. Consider a senior with a rent of $700 per month, a thrifty food budget of $200, average medical expenses of $155, and modest utility costs of $60, it's easy to see how basic living expenses can outpace income, making SNAP a vital resource for seniors to live.

Cuts to the SNAP program would be devastating to seniors in Pennsylvania.


The information found on this page was created jointly with Community Legal Services. Click here for a printable PDF of this information. 

For more information on threats to important federal programs for Pennsylvania's most vulernable, click here.