The Economists’ Voice
Ed. by Belke, Ansgar / Schnabl, Gunther
CiteScore 2017: 0.15
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.104
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.105
Linking SNAP to Food Security: Exploring Reinstating a Purchase Requirement and Tying Benefits to the Low-Cost Food Plan
The United States has a food assistance structure that, by design, does not assure that households receiving food assistance will be food secure, is deeply inefficient, and is at financial and structural risk. The two most common forms of food assistance used today are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) and charitable food assistance in the form of groceries (provided through a network of food banks, food pantries, and other related programs). Approximately 43 million persons participate in SNAP and nearly one-third of them also rely on a food pantry for groceries. The use of charitable food assistance by persons relying on SNAP demonstrates that SNAP’s benefit level and structure does not sufficiently result in food security. The article argues that reinstating a purchase requirement for SNAP and increasing the level of benefits provided to SNAP participants would increase the food security of participants, alleviate the chronic demand for food from food banks and food pantries, and ultimately allow the charitable food assistance network to better accomplish its goal of providing emergency food assistance to the needy.