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
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