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The Changing Food Assistance Landscape: The Food Stamp Program in a Post-Welfare Reform Environment

by Craig Gundersen, Michael LeBlanc, and Betsey Kuhn

Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-773) 31 pp, March 1999

cover image The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) dramatically transformed and continues to transform the food assistance landscape in the United States. The Act cut more funds from the Food Stamp Program than it did from any other program, through reductions in benefits per person and restrictions in eligibility. Despite these cuts, food stamps now have a more prominent role in the post-welfare reform social safety net because the largest cash-assistance entitlement program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), was replaced with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, a nonentitlement program. This leaves the Food Stamp Program as one of the only remaining entitlement programs available to almost all low-income households.

Keywords: food stamps, transfer payments, food consumption, nutrition, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

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Last updated: Thursday, March 12, 2015

For more information contact: Craig Gundersen, Michael LeBlanc, and Betsey Kuhn