NEW YORK (AP) “Food stamps aren’t really that important,” said David St. Germain, a food policy expert at the University of Connecticut.
“What we have found is that it’s very, very hard to get people to eat.”
Food stamps have become the subject of a new federal research study released Monday that finds that while many Americans may feel compelled to use them, they’re not actually helping them.
Instead, they are actually a way for the federal government to make money, St. Germinas said.
In addition to being a financial windfall for the government, food stamps are a way to get money for things like housing or education, he said.
The government can also get money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps people who are on food stamps but cannot pay for food themselves.
The new study comes as the federal budget is being debated.
A bipartisan bill introduced Monday would eliminate food stamps altogether for many Americans and cut their subsidies.
The bill would also eliminate a variety of other programs, including a program that helps people with disabilities, veterans and the elderly.
The USDA estimated in December that 4.4 million Americans would qualify for food stamps as of this summer.
That number includes 2.4 percent of the nation’s population, according to the Department of Agriculture.
The majority of those who receive food stamps, or about 30 million people, have no income and live in low-income households, the USDA said.
The report was based on interviews with 1,001 people who received Supplemental Nutrition Aid to help them pay for basic expenses, such as rent, transportation and food.
The researchers also asked respondents if they were on food assistance and if they received food stamps.
Of those who said they were, about 42 percent said they received them as part of a food stamp program.
About 4.7 percent of Americans who answered the question about Supplemental Nutrition Agencies also said they did not receive food assistance.
The remainder of those respondents were not able to say.
More than 90 percent of those surveyed said they felt pressured to use food stamps because of how much they were helping the government.
About a third of those asked said they didn’t know whether they were eligible for food assistance or food stamps and asked whether they received it.
About 6 in 10 said they either didn’t think they were or didn’t want to say because of the stigma attached to food stamps in general.
The government spends about $2.5 billion a year on food stamp benefits, and the average recipient of the program receives $2,091 in food stamps each month.
The research, conducted by the University, also looked at how people responded to food stamp questions.
The people who said “yes” to a food-stamp question were more likely to say they did or did not have food stamps than people who answered “no” to that question, the researchers found.
People who said, “Yes, I do have food stamp benefit,” were more than twice as likely to be considered “not eligible” for food aid.
Those who answered no to the food-supplement question were also more likely than those who answered yes to those who also said “no,” to say that they had been pressured to buy food.
The study also found that people who were asked whether food stamps were important for them were more inclined to say yes than those with no expectations about food stamps from their families.
St. Germains research found that a larger share of those receiving food stamps didn’t qualify for SNAP benefits, but were eligible because they were in a household with someone who was receiving food assistance, had a disability or had a family member receiving food aid in another state.
People who are receiving food stamp aid are less inclined to eat.
About half of the people who reported they were eating or drinking on an average day reported not having enough food to eat, while almost two-thirds of those with the highest levels of food insecurity reported that they didn’ t have enough food.
“I think the main reason we haven’t been able to come up with a more definitive picture of the effect that food stamps have on people is that we haven’ t really looked at them,” said Elizabeth Cusack, the study’s lead author.
The findings also suggested that food stamp recipients were more sensitive to the stigma associated with food stamps when it came to their physical appearance.
People with lower levels of physical appearance were more willing to say “no, I don’t have enough” to the questions about food stamp eligibility, according in part to the results of the study.
People with larger noses were also less willing to answer the questions.
A larger proportion of people with lower socioeconomic status and higher incomes reported having more difficulty buying food because they didn t have a food pantry.
More than half of those without income reported not being able to buy enough food, compared to about 4 in 10 with incomes of more than $