Background: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a USDA program that offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families; it was previously called the “food stamp” program. SNAP benefits can be used to buy household food items, as well as seeds and plants which produce food for households to eat. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.
The story: SNAP has come under political fire, as elected officials – many from rural areas – look to make cuts in the program to reduce the federal budget. There is a perception that the SNAP program benefits mostly lower-income urban residents.
A recent report challenges that stereotype. The Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) found that 86% of eligible rural residents were enrolled in the program, as opposed to only 73% of eligible urban residents. You can access the full CFRA report here.
Rachel Cernansky of Civil Eats interviewed Jon Bailey, author of the CFRA report. Bailey said this:
“SNAP always seems to be under the gun for funding decisions and funding decreases, and I think it’s interesting that the ringleaders in Congress trying to reduce funding for SNAP are usually people who represent small cities and rural areas,” he says. “Rural policymakers should not be leading the charge to cut the program.”
Read the full article at Civil Eats.