A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service finds that the boost to SNAP (food stamp) benefits included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and effective beginning in April 2009 improved the food security of low-income households. The report, authored by Mark Nord and Mark Prell, found that from late 2008 (pre-ARRA) to late 2009 (post-ARRA):
“This report shows that, in the midst of one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen, SNAP kept very large numbers of families from going hungry,” said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. “SNAP performed as it was intended to – it expanded to meet rising need, and the increased benefits helped millions afford enough nutrition for their households.”
“Given the fact that food insecurity fell, it’s clear that improvements to SNAP made a difference for low-income families by reducing hunger in their households,” continued Weill. “The report means two things: First, more adequate SNAP benefits are important to maintain for the long run. And second, recent proposals in Congress, including the House Republican budget, that would dramatically weaken SNAP must be rejected. A stronger SNAP program leads to lower food insecurity for seniors, children, and adult workers. Congress must keep the program strong so it can continue to be our nation’s first defense against hunger.”
Visit USDA’s website to read the summary and the full report.