House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan includes cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) of $137 billion — 18 percent — over the next ten years (2015-2024), which would necessitate ending food assistance for millions of low-income families, cutting benefits for millions of such households, or some combination of the two.
The new Ryan budget specifies two categories of SNAP cuts:
- It includes every major benefit cut in a House-passed version of the recent farm bill that Congress ultimately rejected when enacting the final farm bill.
- It would convert SNAP into a block grant beginning in 2019 and cut funding steeply ? by $125 billion (or almost 30 percent) over 2019 to 2024.
SNAP spending, which doubled as a share of the economy in the wake of the Great Recession, has begun to decline, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other experts expected.
SNAP, the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, helps roughly 35 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. WIC — short for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — provides nutritious foods, information on healthy eating, and health care referrals to about 8 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children under five. The School Lunch and School Breakfast programs provide free and reduced-price meals that meet federal nutritional standards to over 22 million school children from low-income families.
- Introduction to SNAP
The Center designs and promotes polices to make the Food Stamp Program more adequate to help recipients afford an adequate diet, more accessible to eligible families and individuals, and easier for states to administer. We also help states design their own food stamp programs for persons ineligible for the federal program. Our work on the WIC program includes ensuring that sufficient federal funds are provided to serve all eligible applicants and on helping states contain WIC costs. Our work on child nutrition programs focuses on helping states and school districts implement recent changes in how they determine a child's eligibility for free or reduced-priced school meals.
April 11, 2014
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