Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

876 Words4 Pages
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) officially started in 1964 as the Food Stamp Act as a tool to fight poverty and help agricultural businesses. The program had its roots in the Great Depression, when many Americans struggled to provide food for their families. Before my research on the SNAP Program, I had heard many conflicting opinions. Some said it was an expensive handout that people used to buy candy, and others said that it was a vital tool to provide food to those in need. I didn’t have a particularly strong opinion about food stamps, mostly because I didn’t understand them very well. I tend to be somewhat wary of government programs, and I sometimes question whether or not people should depend on the government when…show more content…
For example, the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research says that SNAP, especially during the 2008 financial crisis, was an effective as a countercyclical program against hunger. In addition, SNAP reached 75% of those who qualified (“Effective and Efficient”). Users of the SNAP Program have been shown to have greater food security and healthier children. Without SNAP, it is estimated that the 45 million enrolled in the program would be at risk for food insecurity (“SNAP/Food Stamp”). This is particularly important for children’s nutrition as they develop. Proper nutrition is key for brain development and overall health in children. Moreover, SNAP provides benefits with a high level of accuracy. For example. USDA statistics show that the margin of error for SNAP payouts in 2014 was 3.66% (“Supplemental Nutrition”). Additionally, the level of food stamp fraud is low, at a rate of roughly 1% that has been steadily decreasing over the years (“Fraud”). SNAP also has some of the most rigorous quality control systems amongst government programs (“Error Rates”). All these points show that SNAP is an efficient program with very low levels of error and abuse. Despite public perception, SNAP is an effective and accurate tool to fight hunger. Furthermore, SNAP not only helps those who receive its benefits, but also the businesses that SNAP users purchase food…show more content…
With its roots in the Great Depression, SNAP has always played a role helping agricultural businesses (“U.S. Farm Bill”). Today, businesses including large supermarket chains (such as Walmart and Target) and food companies (such as Kraft and Coca-Cola) are some of the biggest beneficiaries of SNAP. Walmart, America's largest supermarket chain, is reported to receives 18% of all food stamp spending (Banjo, Gasparo). These facts make it apparent that SNAP's economic role is significant, and cutting it would be devastating to many businesses. Additionally, while some may see SNAP as a drain the country's resources, it actually spurs economic growth significantly. As people spend the money allocated to them through SNAP, businesses’ bottom lines’ goes up along with the nation’s GDP. Food stamps have also been shown to respond well to the needs of people during economic hardship (economy source). This prevents larger amounts of people from slipping into poverty and ultimately benefits the economy (“Efficient and Effective”). While some people may see SNAP as a drain on the government's finances, it actually is a very effective manner of simultaneously meeting the needs of the poor, supporting businesses and stimulating the economy (“Real Stimulus”). Altogether, SNAP is continually shown to be a reliable program that fulfills all it's original purposes.

More about Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Open Document