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
This research brief summarizes findings from an exploratory study of a diverse sample of juvenile justice residential facilities in North Carolina conducted by RTI International. The study examined food service operations, agency and facility level policies and practices pertaining to nutrition, participation in federal school nutrition programs, and additional food … More
Farm-to-School Education Grants Reach Low-Income Children and Encourage Them to Learn About Fruits and Vegetables
For children from low-income families, school meals are a significant portion of daily caloric intake and hence an opportunity to address food insecurity. Many states have pursued legislation to institutionalize programs such as farm to school that aim to improve the quality of school meals and acceptance of healthy foods … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … More