The $5-billion cut being applied to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program starting Friday will not affect Puerto Rico, where 669,000 households - a third of the total - receive food stamps.
That was confirmed Friday to Efe by the head of the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration, or ADSEF, Marta Elsa Fernandez, whose office runs SNAP in Puerto Rico.
She said that Puerto Rico receives $2.1 billion in SNAP benefits and that this amount will not change.
In the United States beginning Friday a $5-billion cut will be applied to a program that serves close to 47 million people, around 15 percent of the population. The average benefit per person is around $130.
A person eligible for SNAP food stamps in Puerto Rico receives an average of $112 monthly.
ADSEF regularly advises SNAP beneficiaries to avoid the use of foods that are not good for the diet and has an anti-fraud unit to thwart the improper use of the program.
In 2011, the MIDA food industry association released a study showing that close to 6 percent of upper-class Puerto Ricans obtain food with cards distributed through SNAP.
Food can be acquired at stores certified by Puerto Rico's Department of the Family.
Food stamps cannot be used to obtain prepared foods, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, detergents, disposable diapers or articles for personal hygiene or grooming. EFE