The Hamilton Project

Strengthening SNAP for a More Food-Secure, Healthy America

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the fundamental safety-net program in the United States. Over its fifty-year history, it has effectively reduced hunger and buffered American families against economic downturns. This paper provides an overview of SNAP’s shortcomings, and a proposed detailed policy agenda to improve SNAP’s effectiveness. In particular, I propose to subsidize healthy foods in order to encourage better nutrition among SNAP recipients and to reform eligibility and payment rules to enable SNAP to better fight hunger and support program beneficiaries.

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