Food Assistance Gap
For the food assistance gap, the difference between individuals living below 185% of poverty and above 130% of poverty is calculated. The 130% level of poverty represents the upper-most income limit at which the general population is eligible for federal food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Some programs target special populations, but SNAP is the only food assistance program for the general population,[i] intended to enhance the food budgets of low-income and poor individuals and families with net incomes below 130% of poverty.
[i] For example, low income pregnant women, infants up to one-year of age, and toddlers to five-years of age, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food and health care access; for low-income school-aged children in participating schools and districts, the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch programs, as well as summer lunch program, provides an income-based free or reduced price meal; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program connects children and adults in care institutions and day-care setting with meals; and for seniors, meal delivery services and farmer’s market voucher programs connect shut-ins and low-income elders with food assistance.