Food assistance a boon to communities



April 9, 2018 - 11:00 PM

With talks underway in the nation’s capital on the 2018 Farm Bill, one of the topics under discussion is SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The program is considered the nation’s first line of defense against hunger in communities large and small, and is funded through the farm bill.

“SNAP provides access to healthy food and nutrition education for low-income families and individuals across the U.S. and in Kansas,” said Sandy Procter, extension specialist and assistant professor in Kansas State University’s Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health. “It benefits elderly persons, low income persons even if they are working, unemployed households and households with disabled persons. It’s been called ‘the cornerstone of the nation’s nutrition safety net’ and effectively prevents hunger and household food insecurity in Kansas and the U.S.”

With a total federal outlay of $70.8 billion in fiscal year 2016, SNAP accounted for 51 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual budget, according to a January, 2018 USDA-Economic Research Service report. About 14 percent of all Americans participated in the program each month in 2016.

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