The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) currently faces an out-of-date formula for determining the benefit levels vis-à-vis net income and diet cost, and an outmoded process by which various populations facing financial hardships are allocated benefits. In addition, the program could do more to promote healthier eating.
To ensure that the country is best meeting the needs of Americans struggling to feed themselves and their families, the SNAP program could create incentives for recipients to purchase and consume healthier foods. SNAP could also adjust the benefit requirements so that evolving employment, cost-of-living, and spending patterns are better incorporated into benefits calculations.
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. In this new discussion paper the author proposes 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.