On May 15, the House Agriculture Committee passed its 2013 farm bill. The bill would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) by almost $21 billion over the next decade, eliminating food assistance to nearly 2 million low-income people, mostly working families with children and senior citizens.
The bill’s SNAP cuts would come on top of an across-the-board reduction in benefits that every SNAP recipient will experience starting November 1, 2013.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s (SNAP) primary purpose is to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households in order to improve their nutrition and alleviate hunger and malnutrition. The program’s success in meeting this core goal has been well documented. Less well understood is the fact that the program has become quite effective in supporting work and that its performance in this area has improved substantially in recent years.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. In 2012, it helped almost 47 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month.
Nearly 72 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter of participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities.
SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program.
This chartbook highlights some of the key characteristics of the almost 47 million people using the program as well as trends and data on program administration and use.
Related: SNAP is Effective and Efficient
SNAP, the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, helps roughly 35 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. WIC — short for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — provides nutritious foods, information on healthy eating, and health care referrals to about 8 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children under five. The School Lunch and School Breakfast programs provide free and reduced-price meals that meet federal nutritional standards to over 22 million school children from low-income families.
- Introduction to SNAP
The Center designs and promotes polices to make the Food Stamp Program more adequate to help recipients afford an adequate diet, more accessible to eligible families and individuals, and easier for states to administer. We also help states design their own food stamp programs for persons ineligible for the federal program. Our work on the WIC program includes ensuring that sufficient federal funds are provided to serve all eligible applicants and on helping states contain WIC costs. Our work on child nutrition programs focuses on helping states and school districts implement recent changes in how they determine a child's eligibility for free or reduced-priced school meals.
May 17, 2013
Revised May 16, 2013
Updated May 8, 2013
Revised May 1, 2013
Updated May 1, 2013
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