The Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program

1769 Words Aug 12th, 2015 8 Pages
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 administration of SNAP is carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) through federal allocation of aid. While administered at the federal level through FNS, SNAP is local distributed by each state. All of the SNAP benefits are paid by the federal government, but the states and the federal government share administrative costs (USDA, 2015). Given the shared administration of SNAP by state’s and the federal government there are elements of the program that are common across states and those that differ from state to state; this complex implementation adds unique criteria of eligibility and determination for targeted populations including the nations seniors.
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