SNAP Basics

SNAP Costs Starting to Fall, Almost Certain to Fall Further Next Year

SNAP spending, which doubled as a share of the economy in the wake of the Great Recession, has begun to decline, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other experts expected.



Policy Basics: What is SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the nation's most important anti-hunger program. In 2011, it helped almost 45 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month.

Nearly 75 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children;more than one-quarter of participants are in households with seniors or people with disabilities.



Chartbook: SNAP Helps Struggling Families Put Food on the Table

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.


SNAP is Effective and Efficient

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP —formerly the Food Stamp Program) is the cornerstone of the nation’s safety net and nutrition assistance programs. In recent years SNAP has achieved impressive results in meeting the needs of low-income Americans while maintaining strong program integrity and payment accuracy.



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