By providing monthly benefits to eligible people with low incomes to purchase food, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) plays a critical role in reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, and improving family security, child and adult health, employment, and other outcomes.

Protect and Strengthen SNAP by Preserving Consumer Choice

Congress must adhere to bipartisan and public support to preserve consumer choice for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the FY 2024 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, the upcoming Farm Bill, and any other legislative vehicles. Learn more about preserving consumer choice in SNAP in FRAC’s latest-one pager.

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Continuing the Thrifty Food Plan Adjustment Is Good for Everyone

The bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to update the Thrifty Food Plan. The resulting update in 2021 was the first in the plan’s history and led to a necessary and long overdue increase in SNAP benefits. Learn why the Thrifty Food Plan adjustment should be protected from efforts to eliminate or weaken it in the 2024 Farm Bill and in other legislation in FRAC’s new one-pager, Continuing the Thrifty Food Plan Adjustment Is Good for Everyone.

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Food Fuels Futures: Expanded SNAP Eligibility Reduces Hunger Among College Students

FRAC’s Food Fuels Futures: Expanded SNAP Eligibility Reduces Hunger Among College Students research brief — informed by interviews with college students — sets forth reasons why SNAP student eligibility expansions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were so vital to college students and why decision-makers should build on these lessons and eliminate the “work-to-eat rule” so that more college students can focus on learning rather than being distracted by hunger.

Read the Report

SNAP Benefit Adequacy

The monthly benefits provided by SNAP enhance the food purchasing power of eligible low-income individuals and families. However, the greatest shortcoming of SNAP is that benefits for most households are not enough to get through the entire month without hunger or being forced to sacrifice nutrition quality.

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Closing the SNAP Gap

The “SNAP Gap” is the gap between those eligible to enroll in SNAP and those actively enrolled in SNAP. FRAC and partners have conducted research in multiple regions, states, and cities to identify strategies to close the SNAP Gap.

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Disaster Relief Resources

The federal nutrition programs are dynamic near-term responders in the wake of natural disasters. Find out more with FRAC’s extensive Disaster-SNAP and related resources.

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Food Research & Action Center’s Transition Recommendations: “This is the Time to Heal in America,” and It Begins With Addressing Hunger

FRAC’s transition recommendations provide a roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration to address hunger in America. It sets forth the harms of food insecurity, summarizes the strengths of the federal nutrition programs, and concludes with high-priority recommendations for administrative and legislative asks that need to be taken to reduce hunger and poverty.

Read the Transition Recommendations

COVID-19 Resources

SNAP data by congressional district–updated with FY 2018 characteristics

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  • Quick Facts

    • SNAP helped lift 3.2 million Americans out of poverty in 2018.
    • According to recent studies, it is estimated that each dollar in federally funded SNAP benefits during a recession generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity. SNAP is targeted to go to the lowest-income people in our country.
    • The federal government pays 100 percent of SNAP benefits. Federal and state governments share administrative costs (with the federal government contributing nearly 50 percent).
    • SNAP is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SNAP was previously named the Food Stamp Program until Oct. 1, 2008.
    • Every five years, SNAP is reauthorized by Congress as part of the Farm Bill. The reauthorization establishes who is eligible for SNAP and addresses program access, benefit levels, and other matters. Find out more…

  • FRAC Resources
    Get FRAC reports, graphics, and more.
  • SNAP’s Strengths
    SNAP is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It serves as the first line of defense against hunger. In fact, without SNAP, hunger in this country would be far, far worse. Here are the reasons why we need to urge policymakers to protect and strengthen this effective program:

    1. SNAP reduces hunger and food insecurity by providing very low-income people desperately needed, targeted assistance to purchase food at grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and other regular commercial food outlets, through an effective and efficient Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.
    2. Because SNAP benefits are so urgently needed by families, they are spent quickly — 97 percent of benefits are redeemed by the end of the month of issuance — thereby bolstering local economies.
    3. According to estimates issued by USDA and others, each $1 in SNAP benefits during an economic downturn generates between $1.50-1.80. SNAP is targeted to go to the lowest-income people in our country. This includes millions of working poor families.
    4. SNAP reaches key vulnerable populations — 81 percent of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person, or a person with disabilities; 86 percent of all SNAP benefits go to such households. While losing a job is the most common event causing a household to seek SNAP, 53 percent of SNAP households with children in fiscal year 2019 worked and had earnings; only 10 percent of SNAP households with children received TANF.
    5. Research has found that receipt of SNAP in early childhood improved high school graduation rates, adult earnings, and adult health.
    6. When the national, regional, state, or local area economy is in trouble, SNAP is among the most effective government responses. SNAP reacts quickly and robustly to economic problems. This has been seen most clearly and dramatically at the start of the recession in 2008, when millions of people became newly unemployed or underemployed. The program responded quickly to provide desperately needed help in the downturn. Accordingly, SNAP caseload and spending is declining as the economy slowly improves.
    7. SNAP lifted 2.5 million Americans out of poverty in 2019, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure.
    8. SNAP is nearly as effective as the Earned Income Tax Credit in lifting families above the poverty line, and far more effective than any other program in lifting families out of deep poverty.
    9. SNAP relieves pressure on overwhelmed food banks, pantries, religious congregations, and other emergency food providers across the country. They recognize the comprehensive approach needed to end hunger and see SNAP as the cornerstone of national, state, and local anti-hunger efforts, and are the first to note their inability to meet added demand that would come from weakening SNAP.

  • Take FRAC's SNAP Challenge
    The SNAP Challenge is a way to gain a personal understanding and raise awareness of what it means to struggle against hunger. Participants spend a week living on the average daily SNAP benefit (about $4 per day) and share their experiences about the difficult choices they have to make. Check out our SNAP Challenge Toolkit.