The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Essay

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP, originates from the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. It was established in the Great Depression era as the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation when crop prices fell drastically and farms were struggling to deal with the excess supply. The Federal government bought the surplus as discounted prices and distributed them to hunger relief agencies. In 1939 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the Food Stamp Plan was created by Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace to formalize the food distribution efforts. Although this initial program ceased in 1943 because of a decrease in the number of people living in poverty, it was reintroduced in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy through a food stamp pilot program. In 1964, the Food Stamp Act was passed by President Lyndon Johnson. This program required the purchase of “stamps” based on the participant’s income level to permit the purchase of low-cost nutritional food. After a program revision in 1977 which ended the requirement for participants to purchase stamps, a nutritional educational program called SNAP-Education was added to the food stamp program in 1981. This program allowed states to apply for matching funds from the Federal government to deliver nutrition education to eligible persons. In the 1990s, efforts were made to streamline administration of the program which included the introduction of an Electronic Benefit

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