From February through May, SNAP participation in states reporting caseloads increased by 17 percent as newly jobless people began applying for assistance; more than 6 million new people are projected to have participated in SNAP in those months. According to the Federal Reserve, almost 40 percent of households earning less than $40,000 a year lost their jobs in March. Food banks are trying to support people, but they are run by private charities and are not designed to meet the level of need we are seeing in the COVID-19 crisis.
SNAP is also an effective economic tool during recessions. Analysis has found that during times of economic downturn every SNAP dollar invested can generate between least $1.54 and $1.80 in economic stimulus. That means that SNAP can both make sure people have enough food and support a weakened economy.