Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, is a federal anti-hunger program that provides benefits to low-income households for purchasing food. In 2011, SNAP served nearly 45 million low-income individuals, almost 75% of whom are families with children. CLASP provides policy analysis and conducts advocacy efforts to expand access of SNAP programs and services for low-income families.
Time to Carve Turkey, not SNAP
By Helly Lee
Thanksgiving is the ultimate food holiday. Many Americans will travel far and near to celebrate with friends and family around dinner tables filled with elaborately prepared food. However, for many low income families, the holidays are an especially difficult time. Many struggle to provide the basics for their families, let alone a celebratory Thanksgiving feast.
For over 22 million low income families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides support to ensure access to food. The average SNAP benefit of $1.50 per person, per meal barely covers a third of what an average serving of Thanksgiving dinner could cost. Yet, even these modest benefits are effective in reducing food insecurity. SNAP is also responsive to the economy, expanding to help those in need and boost the economy in downturns and contracting as the economy recovers and the needs are less. In fact, as the economy continues to slowly recover, SNAP costs have already started to fall.
However, SNAP continues to face deep cuts in Congress. Earlier this summer the Senate passed a farm bill that would cut $4 billion from SNAP over 10 years. The House-passed bill proposes to take an even more drastic bite out of SNAP, cutting over $40 billion over 10 years. The House cuts would take away SNAP benefits from 4 million people, including children and seniors. In addition, these massive reductions would make it harder for unemployed workers to receive benefits -- even if they were willing to work but are simply unable to find jobs -- and the cuts would also make SNAP less responsive in the next recession. This is a double hit on long-term unemployed workers, who face the added loss of federal extended unemployment benefits at the end of December.
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Oct 17, 2013 Taking Food from the Mouths of Children (Youth Today Feature)
- Helly Lee | Jun 25, 2013 SNAP Works: SNAP Work Requirements and Time Limits
- CLASP | Dec 21, 2010 SNAP Employment and Training: Funding Integrated Service Delivery
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Jun 26, 2013 Why the Failure of the Farm Bill Was Good for Low-Income Families (Huffington Post Feature)
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Lavanya Mohan | Nov 21, 2012 Access to Food Stamps in Early Childhood Leads to Better Adult Health and Economic Outcomes
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 18, 2013 SNAP Cuts Put Youth at Risk
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Nov 13, 2013 SNAP Policy Brief: House Farm Bill Places Families at Risk
- Olivia Golden | Nov 08, 2013 Recommendations to the Congressional Budget Conference Committee
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Oct 23, 2013 CLASP Letter to 2013 Farm Bill Conferees
- CLASP | Sep 18, 2013 Child Poverty in the U.S.: What New Census Data Tell Us About Our Youngest Children