The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has its roots in the federal agricultural policy response to the Great Depression. Over the life of the program, the win-win results from low-income people getting the support they need to feed their families while farmers, food producers and grocers benefit from the boost in business when times are tight. The program is countercyclical, so when people’s incomes go down, they are eligible for greater access to the SNAP program. When poverty increases because of economic difficulties, SNAP helps make sure that hunger doesn’t keep pace.
The SNAP program along with other important anti-poverty efforts is often under attack with claims that block grants to states would contain spending when most likely it would force dramatic cuts in needed benefits. The Center remains opposed to block grants that cut services and support for people in need and limit program effectiveness.
SNAP works well. It helps families make up the difference between what they can afford and what it costs to put food on the table. Instead of limiting the program, we should do more to make sure that eligible Virginians get the food they need. We can do more to help families enroll and qualify for SNAP. An average of 922,150 Virginians– 11.6% of all Commonwealth residents– participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2012 and for this reason we must protect against cuts to the program.
RESOURCE: Download our SNAP 1-page brief and talking points!