The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest United States Department of Agriculture federal nutrition assistance program. As an entitlement program, SNAP is designed to expand as incomes fall, enabling the program to respond quickly when need increases. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP served an average of 37 million income-eligible Americans each month; however, SNAP enrollment has increased to more than 41.5 million during the pandemic as many individuals have lost jobs or other sources of income. Given the reach of the federal nutrition safety net, efforts to strengthen the public health impact of programs, including SNAP, have provided critical opportunities to improve food security, diet quality, health, and well-being for millions of Americans. This report will identify key policy opportunities that have the greatest potential to improve SNAP participants’ nutritional status and health. The full report also provides a research summary of the effectiveness of SNAP, reviews prior efforts to increase the public health impacts of SNAP, and goes into greater depth on the current policy landscape and key actions for each of the seven opportunities presented.
Published: July 2021
Publisher: Healthy Eating Research
Authors: Bleich SN, Sullivan K, Broad Leib E, Dunn CG, Woteki C, Yaroch AL, Fleischhacker S
Additional Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Pregnant WIC Clients: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Food Security and Diet QualityWomen with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to More
Dynamics of macroeconomic factor effects on food assistance program participation in the United StatesMacroeconomic factors relating to economic, financial, and sociological stress are identified and their impacts assessed concerning participation in key food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, and NSLP). The econometric analysis covers the period October 1999 to September 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on participation in these programs also is quantified. Based on the parameter estimates obtained More