Boosting SNAP (food stamp) benefits raises not only the amount that low-income households spend on groceries but also its nutritional quality, a new study from CBPP’s Policy Futures project finds. (Click here for the related policy brief.) It’s one of several recent studies showing the potential benefits of increasing benefits, which average only about $1.40 per person per meal.
The study’s main findings include:
As the authors note, their finding that households, when given additional resources, spend them on more nutritious foods that may yield better long-term health outcomes is consistent with recent research comparing the long-term outcomes of people in different geographic areas when food stamps gradually expanded nationwide in the 1960s and early 1970s. Children who had access to food stamps in early childhood and whose mothers had access during their pregnancy had better health and educational outcomes as adults than children who didn’t have access to food stamps.