Food Assistance

House Budget Would Slash SNAP by $125 Billion Over Ten Years

The House Budget Committee's budget plan would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) into a block grant beginning in 2021 and cut funding steeply — by $125 billion (34 percent) between 2021 and 2025. Cuts of this magnitude would end food assistance for millions of low-income families, cut benefits for millions of households or some combination of the two.

Related: No Mystery Why SNAP Enrollment Remains High: It’s Still the Economy

 

No Mystery Why SNAP Enrollment Remains High: It’s Still the Economy

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program historically has been the most responsive federal program, after unemployment insurance, in assisting families and communities during economic downturns. The Great Recession was no exception, as SNAP enrollment rose sharply after 2007. SNAP enrollment remains high compared to historic levels, but it has begun to decline and is expected to fall much further. A critical reason SNAP enrollment and costs are still high is because the job market has continued to exhibit scars from the Great Recession that the unemployment rate does not fully reflect. Read more

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Approximately 1 Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as State Waivers Expire

Roughly 1 million of the nation’s poorest people will be cut off SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) over the course of 2016, due to the return in many areas of a three-month limit on SNAP benefits for unemployed adults aged 18-50 who aren’t disabled or raising minor children. These individuals will lose their food assistance benefits after three months regardless of how hard they are looking for work.

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Basics

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.

Policy Basics:
- Introduction to SNAP
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

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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.

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