Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2008
By: Karen E. Cunnygham and Laura A. Castner
Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—formerly the Food Stamp Program—is a central component of American policy to alleviate hunger and poverty. The program’s main purpose is “to permit low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet…by increasing their purchasing power” (Food and Nutrition Act of 2008). SNAP is the largest of the domestic food and nutrition assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. During fiscal year 2010, the program served 40 million people in an average month at a total annual cost of almost $65 billion in benefits.