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.
Dec 16, 2016 | PERMALINK »
SNAP is a Key Element of the U.S. Safety Net
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture recently released a report summarizing findings from a two-year series of hearings on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This essential nutrition program reaches over 44 million people in almost 22 million households each month. As highlighted by the committee, SNAP’s reach is wide and serves a range of family and household types—75 percent of SNAP households include a child, senior, or disabled individual. The report accurately describes the critical mission of SNAP to feed those who need it. SNAP also provides employment services to help recipients increase their earnings and reduce their need for assistance.
SNAP is an effective and efficient program that raises families out of poverty and addresses food insecurity (defined as lacking consistent access to nutritious food due to a lack of money or other resources). The most recent U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty data found that SNAP raised 4.6 million individuals out of poverty in 2015, and a 2013 Food and Nutrition Service study found that participating in SNAP for 6 months resulted in a 5 to 10 percentage point decrease in food insecurity. Research has shown that higher SNAP benefits are associated with healthier eating by giving families and individuals the opportunity to purchase healthy food that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Improving food insecurity through SNAP would have significant positive effects on the health of all individuals, especially children. Research also shows the clear links between a lack of adequate food and low birth weights, anemia, mental health problems, and poor educational outcomes.
This culminating report summarizes a strong message about the importance of SNAP for millions of families, children, and individuals drawn from multiple witnesses over the series of hearings. We know that SNAP works. Policymakers and administrators have opportunities to strengthen this critical nutrition program over the coming years to ensure that we serve our seniors, children, veterans, adults with disabilities, and the working poor. As Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) stated in the opening hearing, “we can all agree that no one ought to go hungry in America, and SNAP is essential in protecting the most vulnerable citizens during tough times. For many it is a vital lifeline to keeping food on the table.”
- Helly Lee and Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Apr 16, 2015 Q & A: Meeting ABAWD Activity Requirements through Training Activities
- Randi Hall and Helly Lee | Mar 20, 2015 FNS Announces SNAP E&T Pilots in 10 States
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch | Mar 10, 2014 SNAP E&T Overview
- Helly Lee | Feb 11, 2014 Congress Enacts Farm Bill After Years of Debate and Negotiations
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Lavanya Mohan | Nov 21, 2012 Access to Food Stamps in Early Childhood Leads to Better Adult Health and Economic Outcomes
- Dec 16, 2016 SNAP is a Key Element of the U.S. Safety Net
- Dec 05, 2016 Robust Training and Employment Services Are Proven Effective for SNAP Recipients
- Nune Phillips | Nov 28, 2016 CLASP Comments on SNAP: 2008 Farm Bill Provisions on Clarification of Split Issuance; Accrual of Benefits and Definition Changes
- Nov 09, 2016 Veterans Defended Us, Now We Need to Defend and Strengthen the Safety Net for Them
- Victoria Palacio | Oct 26, 2016 SNAP Employment and Training Pilots Offer Hope for Strengthening Services