Welcome to SNAP to Health, a virtual town hall where all members of the community can convene to discuss the current state of nutrition and health in the United States. We provide a public forum for input from individuals, community organizations, local and regional businesses, and foundations about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Our goal is to improve the nutrition and health of Americans on SNAP by hearing from all of you.
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, is a federal government program that provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families in the United States. SNAP is one of the largest federal assistance programs in the country, giving aid to more than 45 million Americans in 2011. The program has been a key driver in preventing food insecurity in the U.S.
But there is room for improvement. Though SNAP may be focused on providing food, it is not always as focused on nutrition. Given the large percentage of the population that uses SNAP, and the dramatic rise in obesity rates in America since the program was first established, there is increased interest in leveraging SNAP to improve nutrition and public health. That’s where you come in: we want to know what you, the American public, think about the SNAP program. Does it need more emphasis on nutrition? Should SNAP work with farmers’ markets and local grocers to create a healthier and more sustainable food system? Do consumers need more nutrition information? How should these changes be made?
The SNAP to Health website was created as a space for discussion and debate about the SNAP program and nutrition in the U.S. The opinions and perspectives shared on the SNAP to Health website will be incorporated into information gathered from other key stakeholders to inform the conversation on the reauthorization of SNAP in the new Farm Bill.
SNAP to Health is a project of the Health Policy Program at New America supported by a grant from the Aetna Foundation. It was originally established as part of a year-long initiative to improve nutrition in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This project made science-based policy recommendations to improve nutrition and reduce obesity for participants in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read the initiative’s report here.