summary Food Insecurity and SNAP
Four Key Findings from Research
Elaine Waxman, Poonam Gupta
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The Urban Institute has an extensive body of research on food insecurity and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. This summary identifies four key findings from recent research examining the inadequacy of SNAP benefits, the ineffectiveness of work requirements, the importance of incentivizing healthy food choices, and the importance of Native food sovereignty. 

Key findings

  1. SNAP is a very effective tool for reducing food insecurity, and instead of talking about cutting benefits, we need to face the fact that they are consistently inadequate.
  2. Work requirements might sound good, but they don’t work.
  3. Stigmatizing SNAP food purchases isn’t effective—but incentivizing healthy eating could be.
  4. Addressing persistent food insecurity among Indigenous people requires Native sovereignty.
Research Areas Social safety net
Tags Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food insecurity and hunger Hunger and food assistance Welfare and safety net programs
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center
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