The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers food assistance programs that help provide food for low to no income families. It is their goal to increase food security and reduce hunger by increasing access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education for low-income Americans (Caswell, 2013, para. 1). Some of the current nutrition assistance programs include “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)”(Caswell, 2013, para. 1). SNAP will be the primary nutrition assistance program of the paper at hand. No matter how morally good it is to try to help reduce hunger and increase food security within the United States, there are still many questions regarding issues with SNAP. This paper will be discussing why there is such a strong support for the program, how it helps the United States as a whole, problems with the program, and why some people are against SNAP.
SNAP is the foundation of nutrition assistance programs. This program provides over 47 million individuals in nearly 23 million low-income households. The eligibility is not restricted to certain groups of individuals, and because of this, SNAP serves a vast amount of families with children, elderly people, and individuals with disabilities. Others eligible for SNAP include families with adults who work in low-wage jobs, unemployed workers, and those with a fixed income. The SNAP Program assists about 72 percent of people who live in households with children. Nearly 25 percent of households with seniors and individuals with disabilities, are also assisted (Rosenbaum, 2013).
For each of these three recommended actions to be implemented into policy, several things need to occur. For the SNAP policy update and increase in funding recommendation, a general consensus among the United States Department of Agriculture needs to be on board that this is a necessary action. The USDA regulates the SNAP program, so they are the primary agency that would update the policies to further enhance eligible food items and restrict purchasing of unhealthy food. They have the resources of dieticians and medical doctors that understand nutrition, and can differentiate between what healthy and unhealthy food products are. They already have restrictions based on eligible food items, but they do not have any restrictions based on the
Obesity rates in the US are rising due to food insecurity. One in six people in the U.S. are food insecure, while two-thirds of adults and one-third Americans are overweight or obese.14 Studies have found that wealthy districts have three times as many supermarkets compared to the poor.15 Kevin Conocannon of the USDA noted in an interview that people in poorer areas sometimes have narrower variety of food options.16 SNAP recipients face barriers to achieving nutritious diets due to lack of availability in their neighborhood. Healthy food often comes with higher costs, so most people with lower income result to eating foods with lower cost and higher calories. According to a 2009 report by the USDA, as many as 23.5 million Americans live more than one mile from a supermarket with limited access to a vehicle.17 Food Deserts are particularly prevalent in low-income communities.18
In the United State, there is a federal nutrition program for low income people to help food budget and buy healthy food. People who have low income in the United States get the food stamps, also known as “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)”. For every month, eligible people who have low income get benefits deposited in to their EBT account. Once they get food stamp, people can purchase food items including seeds and plants to grow food in their house or backyard. It can be used at a grocery store, a supermarket, a farmer 's market, and a shelter that serves meals. However, with all these great benefits, people still eat unhealthy because of too much time consuming, limited money, some food dessert area, and the benefits allow people to eat junk food.
As the US national debt nears $20 trillion, government programs are being looked to be cut, one of those being the SNAP program. SNAP is a federal program which offers nutrition assistance to low income families, by use of food-stamps, while also providing economic benefits to communities (“Supplemental”). SNAP is the largest program in domestic hunger safety (“Supplemental”), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works with nutrition educators, faith based organizations, and neighborhood organizations to help those eligible for the SNAP program make informed decisions about applying (“Supplemental”). The FNS also works with the retail community and State partners to improve the program’s integrity and administration (“Supplemental”). The SNAP
Obesity in the United States continues growing alarmingly. Approximately 66 % of adults and 33 % of children and teenagers in the US are overweight. Obesity is the result of fat accumulated over time due to the lack of a balanced diet and exercise. An adult with a BMI (body mass index) higher than thirty percent is considered obese (Whitney & Rolfes, 2011, pg. 271).
While the SNAP program has been successful in reducing food insecurity, some wonder whether SNAP is as nutritionally beneficial. Here we have assembled relevant information on the role of SNAP in the nutrition of Americans, and areas where there is room for improvement.
The supplemental nutrition assistance program –SNAP helps families in domestic hunger safety. Most might refer to them as Food stamps. SNAP is helpful for people who need assistance facing poverty. The Hamilton Project says, “This makes it the country’s most critical tool in battling poverty. The program kept 4.9 million out of poverty in 2012.” Many may argue, why are people still being unassisted in receiving SNAP benefits? As Michael Tanner writes in his policy analysis, “Snap is a deeply troubled program that has high administrative costs and significant levels of fraud and abuse” (1). Which leads me to say, it is time for the state to
In the United States, there is a substantial number of children that live below the federal poverty line and even more that live below twice the poverty line (Jackson, 2014). According to Jackson (2014), poverty and food insecurity are undeniably related and these children living below the federal poverty line are at risk for varying negative effects, such as delayed cognitive development and medical problems, that hunger can cause. There is a variety of nutritional policies that help these children as well as adults who live in economically disadvantaged and food-insecure households such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (Jackson, 2014; Marx, Broussard, Hopper, & Worster, 2010). This program
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) was established in1972. This federally funded program’s primary focus is the nutritional harm that hunger, and poverty creates specifically for mothers, soon-to-be mothers, children and infants (Blau and Abramovitz, 2014). This program has seen an influx of participants over the many years since its existence. Recently, in 2009 WIC underwent major changes that would benefit both mothers and their children. WIC required its participants to buy healthier foods and pushed grocery stores to provide healthier foods for the participants (Block and Subramanian, 2015). Most recipients of WIC are low-income and more than likely live in neighborhoods with food deserts.
The Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), prior to October 2008 referred to as Food Stamps, was legislatively established nationwide in 1974 by the United States Congress. However, the Food Stamp Act of 1977 established comprehensive reform of the federally supported entitlement program setting the structure of the program today (Food Stamp Act of 1977). SNAP provides in-kind monthly benefits to provide nutrition assistance to low income families and individuals. With over 22 million households in the United States being served by the program in 2014, SNAP continues to be the nation’s largest domestic nutritional assistance program (Hoynes & Schanzenbach, 2015). As a federally supported entitlement program, federal
It’s important to realize The SNAP program which actually uses debit cards, provides modest but crucial aid to families in need. SNAP recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist and then asking the government for replacement cards. In addition, several studies have found a correlation between SNAP participation and increased body mass among adult women. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2008 review of available research found that while use of food stamps didn't increase obesity among children, adult men, or the elderly, studies show adult women are 2 to 5 percent more likely to become obese if they receive food stamps for more than a year (Huffington Post)”.
Low socioeconomic status individuals have limited access to healthy and affordable foods which sequentially contributes to obesity. One might contend that the government provides assistance (WIC and Food Stamps) to
Food stamps are government-issued coupons for low income families. People in America like to take advantage of those coupons and use them for unhealthy food and drinks. In SNAP households, soft drinks are ranked the second highest purchase (Tanner). SNAP is the formerly known program for food stamps. In one study, low income women admitted their babies into a government nutrition assistance program. Researchers confirmed that “The rate of youngsters at risk for obesity fell during the study, from almost 15 percent in 2010 to 12 percent overall in 2014” (Tanner). In that study, the government took control of what food stamps were available, and the obesity rates fell among the families. Additionally, another survey published by SNAP provides a glimpse into the shopping cart of a typical house. As said by a group of Stanford researchers, “Banning sugary drinks for SNAP would be expected to significantly reduce obesity prevalence and type 2 diabetes incidence” (O’Connor). Here, it means, that instead of promoting unhealthy food, the government can give out food stamps that are a healthier alternative for the public . Although this may be true, some people consider that it is society’s responsibility to be healthy. Ryan Schwertfeger, president of the Student Senate concludes, “Those who make healthy choices will have no reason to suffer or worry about those