The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as “food stamps,” helps millions of low-income Americans put food on the table, providing benefits that are timely, targeted and temporary. SNAP is a program that has been proven to respond quickly to changes in need, growing in response to increases in poverty and unemployment and shrinking as need abates. The nutrition assistance program reaches the people who need it most, predominantly serving households with children, elderly and disabled members. SNAP benefits provide a strong work incentive, phasing out as participants get back on their feet.
Nationally, SNAP provides help to more than 42 million people each year. Ensuring that everyone who is eligible has access to SNAP benefits is a key means of providing more meals to more people nationwide.
According to Feeding America® research, only 41 percent of the households served by the Feeding America network report receiving SNAP benefits. Yet more than 88 percent are estimated to be income eligible. This suggests that many of the families who visit food pantries and meal programs are likely eligible but, for a variety of reasons, are not participating in the program.