SNAP Benefits

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Many children suffer from food insecurity in Rhode Island. Between the years of 2018 and 2020, 8.2% of Rhode Island households were food insecure. Although this number is below the nationwide average of 10.7%, it is important to note that in 2017, the latest recorded data point on the topic, the city of Providence’s food insecurity rate of 12.7% was the highest in the state of Rhode Island. In a nationwide study conducted just before the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of students from low-income communities answered that they had come to school hungry. Twelve percent of these students answered that they were too distracted by their hunger to complete nightly homework assignments. Research studies show that food insecurity can affect a child’s ability to concentrate, academic performance, behavioral issues, and physical health. Given the high rate of childhood food insecurity in Providence, the issue of child hunger is important to recognize.  Take a look at The Providence Eye’s earlier related story: Why Providence Cares About the Farm Bill.

 

17,315 – Number of Providence children under age 18 who received SNAP benefits in 2023.

46% Percent of Providence households with children under 18 that receive SNAP benefits.

$1.50 to $1.80 – Amount of economic activity generated in the local economy by each dollar of SNAP benefits.

$5,419 – Upper monthly income limit for SNAP eligibility for a family of five – equal to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level.

$1,155 – Maximum monthly SNAP benefit for a family of five. The value of the actual benefit is reduced by about $30 for every $100 of household income.

$800,000 – Amount allocated in the FY25 state budget to providing healthy school meals to over 6,500 public school students who qualify. However, this budget does not include healthy school meals for every student of RI, an investment that many activists support and is needed to end child hunger and ensure students come in ready to learn.

9,413 – Estimated average daily participation in school breakfast at Providence Public Schools

$40 – Monthly amount of SNAP that will be provided to families with children this June, July and August under the new Summer EBT program that seeks to make up for the loss of free and reduced-price school meals.

$25 – Maximum monthly SNAP bonus that household may earn by buying qualified fruits and vegetables under a RI DHS’s Eat Well, Be Well Pilot Rewards Program.

$155 – Average reduction in monthly SNAP benefits in RI when federal emergency allocations ended in March of 2023.

11% – Increase in Rhode Island food prices from July 2022 to June 2023.

 

Sources

Food Insecurity Data

No Kid Hungry

Children Receiving SNAP Benefits

Children Participating in School Breakfast

Governor’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Proposal

RI Community Food Bank

RI Department of Human Services

RIDHS Summer EBT Fact Sheet

Kassidy Todisco, originally from New Jersey, is a senior at Providence College.