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Monday, December 12, 2016

HOUSE AG COMMITTEE BACKS SNAP

The House Agriculture Committee has unveiled a new report summarizing the committee’s two-year review of SNAP. The Committee found nothing to suggest that SNAP be gutted or eliminated. It found a number of ways the program is working successfully and a number of areas in need of improvement, innovation, and adjustment: service delivery, work requirements, program administration and evaluation, and access to healthy foods.
The Committee found, among other things:

  • The need for nutrition assistance cannot be addressed by just one program or just one group—it requires more collaboration between governments, charities, businesses, health systems, communities, individuals, and many others.
  • The diversity of programs serving low-income households has simultaneously generated overlaps and gaps in recipient services.
  • Combined with other welfare programs, SNAP recipients may face a “welfare cliff” when they are just above the income eligibility level, which can create disincentives to  finding work or increasing earnings.
  • Better enforcement of work requirements is needed in some states, and enforcement needs to be coupled with more effective SNAP employment and training programs.
  • SNAP needs clear program goals and must be evaluated according to metrics aligned with those goals to generate program improvement.
  • SNAP fraud rates can be improved through innovative state and federal strategies and technologies.

Source: House Agriculture Committee, 12/7/16, House SNAP Report