Thursday, December 10, 2015

White House Economists Praise SNAP But Urge Higher Benefit

The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently released a report highlighting the benefits of SNAP, including improved food security and better health, academic and economic outcomes for children and families. Each year, the report says, SNAP lifts millions of families out of poverty and hunger. A growing body of research shows that improving food security through SNAP leads to positive short- and long-term outcomes. These effects are especially pronounced for children, whose families receive a large majority of SNAP benefits. Moreover, SNAP’s beneficial effects on children’s health and educational outcomes not only improve children’s present well being, but also are likely to result in better life outcomes and increased self-sufficiency in the future.

Yet despite serving as the cornerstone to alleviating food insecurity, the report finds that current SNAP benefits are too low. Several studies have shown that the current level of benefits often cannot sustain families through the end of the month, and new research has linked the gap in food access to high-cost consequences—including increased hospitalizations among adults with diabetes and disruptions in learning among school-aged children.

 Source: Executive Office of the President, 12/15, SNAP Evaluation

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