The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest food assistance program, serving approximately 47 million people, half of whom are children. There are currently no nutrition standards accompanying the redemption of SNAP benefits, and participants can purchase any food or beverage except for prepared foods, alcohol, and dietary supplements. This paper reviews several factors intended to inform future policy decisions: the science indicating that SNAP recipients have poorer diet quality than income-eligible nonparticipants; the public’s support for revising the SNAP program; federal, state, and city legislators’ formal proposals to amend SNAP based on nutrition criteria and the United States Department of Agriculture’s public position in opposition to these proposals; state bills to amend eligible foods purchasable with SNAP benefits; state retail food tax laws; and the retail administration and program requirements for both the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and SNAP.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Analysis of Program Administration and Food Law Definitions
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic … More
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
The rapid rise in food insecurity among households with children during COVID-19 has reinforced the critical role SNAP plays in reducing food insecurity and poverty, particularly in low-income communities of color. Waivers and other state program modifications enacted during the pandemic could improve access to SNAP and reduce income and … More