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
The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the … More
Acceptability, Preference, and No-Show Rates for In-Person and Phone-Based Consultations at Nine WIC Centers in New York City Before and During COVID-19
Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time … More
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 … More