Skip to content

You are here

"Less than One Hundredth of One Percent"

This highly misleading story is typical of the New York Post. Reporters from the Post initially requested an interview with Joel Berg, whom immediately responded by providing concrete facts and data disputing their argument altogether. By showing how little fraud there actually is in the program, evidence instead exhibits how effective and sustainable the SNAP program really is in fighting hunger.

Without any mention of the factual information Joel provided, the article vaguely claims to have found “dozens” of suspicious transactions out of a million without specifying an exact number of 12, 24, 48, or 96. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the database these reporters observed did only have a million transactions on it, and that, by “dozens,” they meant the full 96. This means that 96 out of a million transactions, or less than one hundredth of one percent, were actually fraudulent. It is truly absurd to write a story about such a rare occurrence, especially when it is evident the New York Post cherry-picks facts and quotes to leave the false impression that this is somehow an example of wide-spread fraud.

Furthermore, rather than report fact, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation was heavily quoted. The least the Post could have done their readers some justice by stating that Rector holds views far outside of the American mainstream, such as essentially denying that there is any hunger in America and basically believing that the federal SNAP program shouldn’t even exist and that the government should have no serious role in feeding hungry Americans.

For precise information on SNAP fraud directly from its federal administrator, the USDA, please click here and for NYCCAH’s “Hunger and SNAP Fact Sheet” of 2012, click here.