Navigation Links
With food insecurity rising in US, SNAP benefits should be left alone
Date:9/12/2012

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. In a time of record-high food insecurity rates in the U.S., cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the former Food Stamp Program) is the wrong approach to fighting hunger, says a University of Illinois economist who studies the efficacy of food assistance programs on public health.

Whether it's some Republicans who have proposed modifying funding, or some Democrats who have proposed restricting what kind of food beneficiaries are allowed to buy, restructuring SNAP would likely only lead to more food insecurity, says Craig Gundersen, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

"Food insecurity continues to be a serious problem in the U.S.," said Gundersen, who also is the executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory at Illinois. "So it is especially important that we have SNAP, which is an effective weapon in fighting hunger. Not many federal programs have been as successful as SNAP has been, and its effectiveness has been demonstrated again and again in numerous studies."

But both Republicans and Democrats have proposed cuts to SNAP, Gundersen says. Some Republicans also have suggested the idea of changing the funding structure of SNAP into a block-grant program in which each state receives a fixed sum of money.

"That has its advantages states can construct their program any way that they wish," he said. "But the big problem is that during bad economic times, that pool of money doesn't increase, which destroys the entitlement structure of the program. In the past, programs that have been block-granted are less likely to see increases in bad economic times."

Some Democrats also have threatened the program in other ways by proposing limits on what types of food beneficiaries could purchase.

A recent proposal in New York City, for example, prohibited participants from buying sports drinks with SNAP benefits an idea that the Obama administration ultimately quashed, Gundersen says.

"Telling participants that they could purchase this but couldn't purchase that well, we know from numerous studies that when you restrict benefits in any way, fewer people participate," he said. "With any sort of program, if you restrict choice, people quit. Nobody tells you how to spend your mortgage tax deduction; why would we dictate to someone who is hungry what they can or can't eat? Ultimately, it discourages participation in SNAP, and what that means is that millions more adults and children become food insecure."

As long as it's still an entitlement program, the main driver for SNAP is the state of the economy, which means that in bad times, the number of beneficiaries goes up, Gundersen says. According to the USDA, more than 46 million people used SNAP benefits in June 2012 a new record.

"I'm hoping that we've finally hit the ceiling," Gundersen said. "The economy would have to deteriorate even more for those numbers to go higher. Namely, we would have to have substantially higher levels of poverty and unemployment."

So when the economy improves, that number of SNAP recipients will go down by a large amount, Gundersen says.

"When politicians talk about cuts, whatever those cuts are will pale in comparison to what will happen when the economy itself improves, and fewer people are in need of SNAP benefits," he said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Phil Ciciora
pciciora@illinois.edu
217-333-2177
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Rising cardiovascular incidence after Japanese earthquake 2011
2. Rising Cigarette Prices May Be Incentive to Quit
3. Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change
4. Spending on childrens health rising faster than adults over past 4 years, says report
5. Rising Solar Engineering and Design Firm Enters 1.7 MW's in Connecticut ZREC Auction and Positions for Future Growth
6. Discount Supermarkets Tied to Rising Obesity Rates
7. NYC Doc Announces 3 Surprising Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies
8. Life-saving primary PCI rising in Stent for Life countries
9. Rising Obesity Rates Might Mean More Rheumatoid Arthritis
10. Surprising results for use of dialysis for kidney failure in developing world
11. Catastrophic Head Injuries to High School Football Players Rising
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
With food insecurity rising in US, SNAP benefits should be left alone
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of Somekh & Associates ... special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain up to date ... elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel was founded by ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United ... the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, ... spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder ... maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a ... of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners ... October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ... quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Lilly ... with the investment community and media to further detail ... will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, media ... of the conference call through a link that will ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound ... in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug ... for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage ... set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people ... Learn more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion ... notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida ... time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ ... Set to receive his award in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: