An initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Issue Brief

SNAP Supports Health and Boosts the Economy



November 10th, 2022


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has provided billions of dollars in additional funding to prevent hunger and help ensure that children and families have access to healthy, affordable food. Part of the emergency funding is dedicated to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides short-term financial support to low-income individuals and families who struggle to afford food.

This brief describes the purpose of SNAP and who it serves, provides details about how the program works, presents research about its impact, and describes regulatory changes to the program recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It also offers recommendations for policymakers, including prioritizing specific changes to SNAP in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis.

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