A collection of stories about the critical support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides families and individuals across the country.
Strong national policies can play an important role in preventing and reducing obesity, including by supporting programs and initiatives that help ensure people have access to healthy, affordable foods. SNAP provides short-term financial support to individuals and families furthest from economic opportunity. It is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program and is designed to respond to times of increased need. Two-thirds of participants are children, older adults, and people with disabilities. The average SNAP participant in FY18 received $126.00 per month.
Research has shown that SNAP reduces poverty, benefits the economy, improves food insecurity, and even benefits children’s health and academic performance. In addition, children with access to SNAP show lower risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other poor health outcomes as they get older.
StoryCorps produced the below stories in this collection with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Jennifer Wells-Marshall and Helen Jones
Dr. Jennifer Wells-Marshall tells her friend and colleague, Helen Jones, about receiving SNAP benefits for a period of time when her daughter was young before going on to get her Ph.D
Andrika Harmon and Kristi Gay
Andrika Harmon talks with Kristi Gay, her nurse home visitor, about how SNAP helps her buy healthy food to support her young family while she is working and finishing college.
Kolia Souza and Brian Johnson
Kolia Souza and her husband, Brian Johnson, share stories about how SNAP helped them during a challenging time in their lives.
Emily and Tim Brown
Husband and wife, Tim and Emily Brown, talk about the short period of time they received SNAP benefits after Tim lost his job.
Jeremy Huffman and Adam Ingrao
Fellow veterans and friends Jeremy Huffman and Adam Ingrao talk about transitioning from the military to their roles as farmers and healthy food advocates supporting families who participate in SNAP.
Max Gage and Catherine Gage
Sixteen-year-old Max and his mother, Catherine Gage, discuss the important role of SNAP in helping their family get the nutrition they need during a difficult time.
Shayna Horne and Tiffany Nieto-Gaytan
Shayna Horne tells Tiffany Nieto-Gaytan, a local food bank staff member, about her family’s difficult transition out of the military and how the food bank and SNAP have provided crucial support.
Beth Keel and Jovanna Lopez
Best friends Beth Keel and Jovanna Lopez reflect on times in their life when they struggled with food insecurity and how SNAP helped Beth after an injury that left her out of work.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month.