A study by USDA’s Economic Research Services (ERS) found that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, reduces the prevalence of poverty in many U.S. households.  The study, “Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits,” looked at 10 years of income data from the U.S. Census Bureau and data on SNAP benefits, to determine how SNAP benefits affected household finances.  According to the study, SNAP benefits led to an average annual decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty from 2000 to 2009.  Combining SNAP benefits with family income, the average annual decline from 2000 to 2009 for child poverty was reduced 15.5 percent and the average annual decline in the severity of child poverty was 21.3 percent.  According to USDA, there are 46.5 million individuals and 22.2 million households participating in the SNAP program.