Overview

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) is the Nation's largest domestic food and nutrition assistance program for low-income Americans.

The Nutrition Title (Title IV) of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Act), signed on December 20, 2018, reauthorizes SNAP, maintaining the program’s basic eligibility guidelines and work requirements while providing additional funding for enhanced employment and training activities. It also increases funding for grants to promote healthy eating and establishes projects designed to reduce food waste in commodity donations to food banks and other emergency food providers. For more details, see Nutrition.

ERS research focuses on SNAP's effectiveness in meeting income support and diet quality objectives. ERS analyzes:

  • SNAP participants' food consumption, spending, and obesity status,
  • factors such as regional and store format that influence the affordability of foods,
  • the role of prices and income in food choices,
  • the effects of nutrition information on food choices,
  • innovative strategies for improving food choices suggested by behavioral economics,
  • and evaluation of program outcomes.

Information about program eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process is available from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers the program.

ERS has compiled a database of over 1,100 peer-reviewed research reports and articles covering a broad spectrum of food and nutrition assistance research based on both intramural and extramural research published at ERS and elsewhere. The database is searchable by title, lead author, topics such as nutrition education, year of publication, data set analyzed and exact word(s) or phrases contained in the publication’s bibliographic citation. See Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Reports Database.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

For more information contact: Laura Tiehen