Food Assistance

SNAP Error Rates at All-Time Lows

The percentage of SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefit dollars issued to ineligible households or to eligible households in excessive amounts fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 to 2.61 percent, newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show. That’s the lowest national overpayment rate since USDA began the current system of measuring error rates in 1981. Read more

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More Than 28,000 Schools Can Become Hunger Free

The Community Eligibility Provision is a powerful new tool to ensure that low-income children in high-poverty neighborhoods have access to healthy meals at school. Established in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, next year community eligibility will allow more than 28,000 schools in high-poverty neighborhoods to offer nutritious meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to all students at no charge.

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Commentary: Is Congress About to Undercut Progress Against Childhood Obesity?

The Senate is expected to consider the annual Agriculture Department funding bill, which covers the child nutrition programs and includes measures promoted by industry lobbyists that would undercut reforms designed to improve children’s nutrition and combat childhood obesity. It’s critical that senators reject any amendments that would further weaken reforms. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department funding bill that the House began considering includes even more damaging measures. When the House resumes its consideration of the bill, members will have an opportunity to improve it. Read more

Related: House Should Drop School Meal Waivers from Agriculture Spending Bill

 

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

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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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