Food Assistance

Greenstein Testifies on SNAP Before House Agriculture Committee

SNAP has played a central role in largely eliminating severe hunger and malnutrition in the United States. At the end of 2014, SNAP was helping more than 46 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. Eligible people who apply can receive benefits, and when poverty and need increase, the program expands. Then when the economy grows robustly again, the program contracts. This enables SNAP to respond quickly and effectively during times of economic downturn and increased need.

Related:

 

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.

Related: Who Are the People Who Will Lose SNAP Next Year?

 

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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