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SNAP Helps Millions of Low-Wage Workers: Crucial Financial Support Assists Workers in Jobs with Low Wages, Volatile Income and Few Benefits

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SNAP

SNAP Helps Millions of Low-Wage Workers: Crucial Financial Support Assists Workers in Jobs with Low Wages, Volatile Income and Few Benefits

May 11, 2017
By
Dawn Secor

For millions of Americans, work doesn’t provide enough income for them to feed their families. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains that SNAP (formerly food stamps) provides workers with low pay and often fluctuating incomes with crucial additional monthly income to help put food on the table.  It also helps workers get by while they’re between jobs.  

The nation’s largest anti-hunger program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) provides millions of workers with income to help feed their families. Some of the most common occupations in the country have low wages, unpredictable scheduling, and few benefits.  Workers turn to SNAP to supplement low and fluctuating pay and to help them get by during spells of unemployment.  Most workers who participate in SNAP are in service occupations (e.g., home health aides or cooks), administrative support occupations (e.g., customer service representatives), and sales occupations (e.g., cashiers).

Occupations that pay low wages are numerous and many are growing.  Six of the 20 largest occupations in the country which together employed about 1 in 8 American workers, had median wages close to or below the poverty threshold for a family of three in 2016:  retail salespersons, cashiers, food preparation and serving workers, waiters and waitresses, stock clerks, and personal care aides).  And eight of the ten jobs that are expected to add the most new jobs over the next decade have median wages below the national median, and many much lower