The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges and exacerbated existing barriers faced by SNAP participants and administrators, such as inequitable access to SNAP online purchasing, overburdened administrative staff and agency systems, and low digital literacy and technology deficits. In response, SNAP online purchasing increased rapidly by March 2021, and program flexibilities and waivers allowed states to adapt their standard operating procedures. This research brief presents key findings from three rapid-response studies that examined challenges and opportunities for SNAP due to these program changes. The three projects highlight additional policy, program, and research efforts needed in the short term to improve both state’s ability to administer SNAP and improve the availability and accessibility of services.
Published: January 2022
Publisher: Healthy Eating Research
Authors: Miller L, Arm K
Implementing SNAP During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP AdministratorsSNAP was a critical component of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The beginning of the pandemic saw the largest increase in applications in the program’s history, and the pandemic fundamentally altered how SNAP agencies deliver benefits, interact with participants, and provide supportive services. The goal of this research was to examine SNAP implementation during the first More
State Implementation of SNAP Waivers and Flexibilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives From State Agency LeadersThis study aimed to describe state agencies’ implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers and facilitators to SNAP implementation, and recommendations to improve SNAP implementation. This study was qualitative, using 7 semistructured, virtual focus groups in April 2021 with state-level SNAP administrators and supportive services More