Nationally, most of the people who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are white. According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American.
Twenty-three million households and 47 million Americans received benefits on an average month in 2013; enrollment declined slightly to 22 million households and 46 million individuals in 2014. Three-quarters of those households included a child, an elderly person or someone with a disability. The average monthly benefit per household was $274 in 2013 and $256 last year.
Nearly one-third of food stamp beneficiaries lived in a household where at least one member had some earned income in 2013. Different states have different eligibility rules for the program, but federal law puts the upper income limit at 200 percent of the poverty line, currently $20,090 for a family of three. Many SNAP recipients qualify based on their participation in another means-tested program, such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.