Welcome to SNAPtoHealth.org—an interactive website for public discourse on strategies to promote health and prevent obesity for people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
With 1 out of 4 households experiencing food insecurity in America over the past year and with over 70% of the population overweight or obese, innovative strategies are needed to promote healthy nutrition for SNAP and WIC beneficiaries and reduce health complications linked to hunger and obesity in the years ahead. Strengthening SNAP and WIC are critical ingredients in meeting 21st century public health challenges and nutritional needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic hardship for program participants and increased food insecurity in the United States with an estimated 45 million people, including 15 million children experiencing hunger in 2020. The pandemic also exacerbated the food insecurity/obesity paradox. Half of Americans gained an average of 29 pounds over the past year.
This website provides a forum for dialogue among a broad range of stakeholders, including SNAP and WIC participants, academics, state and federal program administrators, advocacy groups, retailers, food industry representatives and the general population. It also includes reports with recommendations about how to modernize SNAP and WIC with technology innovations to increase participation and retention in these vital programs. The site also serves as an online hub for health and nutrition information, including recipes and interactive tools.
In the 21st century, cutting-edge solutions to America’s public health problems are within our reach. We hope that this website helps to identify strategies to promote healthy nutrition and fosters discussion, collaboration and innovation among those working to improve health, reduce food insecurity, and prevent obesity in the United States.
Susan J. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A
Senior Fellow in Health Policy, New America
Former US Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Asst Secretary for Health
Rear Admiral, USPHS (ret.)
Clinical Professor, Tufts and Georgetown University Schools of Medicine; Visiting Professor, MIT Media Lab