ILE estimates that approximately 246,000 people who are currently outside the working group in Puerto Rico would qualify for work under SNAP.
The Puerto Rico for Institute for Economic Liberty (ILE by its name in Spanish) released a public policy report on the potential shift from the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Puerto Rico. The document explains the origin, characteristics, and operation of the federal government’s block grant currently received by the Island for the NAP; and compares and contrasts its limitations with the SNAP benefit system.
The report titled From NAP to SNAP: A Bridge to Economic Liberty for Residents of Puerto Rico emphasizes that the implementation of SNAP will increase the number of beneficiaries in Puerto Rico and correct disparities in treatment between U.S. citizens residing on the Island and those residing in the States and other territories. It also emphasizes the agility with which SPAN would address Puerto Rico’s needs when faced with natural events such as Hurricane Fiona or another pandemic.
The document highlights that ILE “also favors the transition to SNAP because it is designed to assist people in times of need while encouraging them to be productive when their circumstances allow it. Its important work requirement would be advantageous for eligible participants as it makes it easier for them to join the labor force, provide for themselves and their families, and contribute to the reconstruction of Puerto Rico for a prosperous and sustainable future.”
“Our study found that nearly 250,000 people could be inserted into the labor force while continuing to receive the assistance they need until they are able to overcome dependency. SNAP makes it easier for beneficiaries to take advantage of existing job opportunities. We must encourage and motivate people to work and realize their dreams and aspirations while contributing to Puerto Rico’s recovery, thanks to the federal funds allocated to the Island for those purposes”; said businessman and CEO of ILE Jorge L. Rodríguez.
The number of people indicated by Rodríguez stems from a preliminary estimate of the potential number of people in Puerto Rico who could participate in the labor force by switching from NAP to SNAP. The estimate made as part of the report is based on population and working group survey data from the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources in 2022; and is focused on people between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have dependents, are not pregnant, and are subject to the general work requirements, according to the parameters of the SNAP.
The report was prepared by Dr. Ángel Carrión-Tavárez, ILE’s Director of Research and Policy. With this report “ILE inserts itself in the marketplace of ideas and public policy dialogue for the development of Puerto Rico, with research, studies, data, and critical analysis framed in classical liberalism—the economic, moral, and political philosophy that is the foundation of the Constitution and laws of Puerto Rico and the United States”; concluded Rodríguez.
About the Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Freedom
Created in 2019, the Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Freedom (ILE by its Spanish acronym) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, registered as a 501(c)(3) non-partisan entity. In its role as a developer of ideas, ILE has the goal of identifying and removing barriers in the public sector, to provide opportunities and enable the prosperity of all residents of Puerto Rico in a market economy. Through multisectoral and participatory collaboration, ILE seeks to develop economic public policy supported by scientific research; promote principles, ideas, and solutions based on free-market principles; find answers from the government about actions that interfere with the potential of the individual and the free market in Puerto Rico; educate and engage the people of Puerto Rico in reforms that create opportunity. Learn more at institutedelibertadeconomica.org or on Facebook and Instagram at @ilepuertorico.
- News is My Business: Report: 250K people in Puerto Rico could work and keep gov’t aid