September 02, 2014

50 Years of SNAP!

50 Years of SNAP Featured

The “modern” version of food stamp system was created 50 years ago. But the first food stamp program was created about 70 years ago! And for the last 70 years, in one form or another, it’s been a vital form of support for families across the United States.

What is SNAP?

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the USDA describes it as “nutrition assistance to millions of low-income individuals and families.” We think of it as our nation’s collective response to hunger in America. Tens of millions of families, children and seniors rely on SNAP benefits in order to put nutritious food on their tables. So, we as the United States’ “community” ask our government to help on our behalf. 

Why was SNAP created? 

During the depression in the late 1930′s and the rampant unemployment that came along with it, the first food stamp program assisted 20 million people over four years. Twenty years later, the pilot food stamp program was created during the war on poverty to bridge the gap between “farm surpluses and under-nourished city folks.” (USDA) On August 31, 1964, as part of the war on poverty, the Food Stamp Act of 1964 was passed through Congress. The now permanent legislation “strengthened the agricultural economy and provided improved levels of nutrition among low-income households,” (USDA) mutually benefiting both rural and urban populations. 

Who uses SNAP? 

SNAP assists those – and only those – who need it most.

50 Years of SNAP Infographic

And here we are today, 50 years later with a program that is efficient, effective and vital – keeping millions of people out of poverty. Yet the false claims, the stereotypes and the unsupportable attacks on the programs and those who need it continues with growing vitriol. 

Show your support for the millions of Americans who would go hungry if not for SNAP.  No one deserves to be hungry. And definitely not in 2014.