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Priority Policy

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

PRIORITY POLICY

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides short-term financial support to individuals and families furthest from economic opportunity who struggle to afford food. As the nation’s largest nutrition program, SNAP helps roughly 43 million people access foods and beverages to support a healthy diet. SNAP can increase food security, improve children’s health and academic performance, support economic growth, and lift people out of poverty.

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Father and son shop for produce at a farmers market

COVID Response

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there have been several significant changes to SNAP. On the whole, the changes have expanded access to the program and increased benefit levels for participants.

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Recommendations

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation urges these actions to prevent hunger and increases in poverty.

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Broaden SNAP eligibility to cover more college students, unemployed adults without children, and lawfully residing immigrants.

Ensure the Thrifty Food Plan covers the cost of a modestly priced meal in every U.S. county.

Streamline eligibility and enrollment processes and focus enrollment efforts on communities with low participation, including immigrants, people of color, and rural residents.

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Fast Facts

SNAP has wide-ranging impacts

2.9 million

SNAP lifted 2.9 million people out of poverty in 2020.

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33%

Food insecurity among children dropped by 33 percent after their families received SNAP benefits for six months.

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$36

The average SNAP monthly benefit will be $36 higher with the revisions to the Thrifty Food Plan than it would have been without those updates.

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