Dec 6, 2017

USDA changing food stamp program to promote "self-sufficiency"

Photo: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The USDA will be giving more local control over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to "promote self-sufficiency, integrity in the program," according to their press release. State agencies will get specifics on the changes in the next few weeks.

Key quote: "We want to provide the nutrition people need, but we also want to help them transition from government programs, back to work, and into lives of independence," Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in the statement.

By the numbers:

  • As of last January, 45.4 million Americans use the SNAP program, with 76% of benefits going to households with children, according to SNAPtohealth.org.
  • 44% of all participants are children.
  • For individuals, participants must reapply for SNAP every three months. Households typically need to renew every six months.
  • 39.8% of SNAP participants are white, 25.5% are African American, 10.9% are Hispanic, 2.4% are Asian, and 1% are Native American, per the data.
  • To qualify for the SNAP program, applicants must be at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line, which is currently $12,060 for individuals and $24,600 for a family of 4.
  • Two years ago, most SNAP participants received $126 monthly, with households receiving $256 montly.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 14,800

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected more than 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. N.Y. has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 35 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: U.K. PM "stable, improving" in intensive care

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "stable, improving, sat up and engaged with medical staff" in the intensive care unit of London's St. Thomas' Hospital, where he is being treated for the coronavirus, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden told the BBC Thursday.

Zoom in: The update comes as ministers meet to discuss whether to extend the United Kingdom's lockdown and after the country's health officials reported Wednesday the highest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths — 938, taking the total to over 7,300. London Mayor said Wednesday the U.K. is "nowhere near lifting the lockdown," with the virus not expected to peak there until next week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 51 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,484,811 — Total deaths: 88,538 — Total recoveries: 329,876Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 432,132 — Total deaths: 14,817 — Total recoveries: 23,906Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.