The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Essay

1881 Words Nov 19th, 2016 8 Pages
History of SNAP The concept for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was first conceived in 1939 under the direction of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Henry Wallace (USDA Food & Nutrition Service, 2014). Due in part to prevalent rates of unemployment nationwide, along with unmarketable food surpluses, the government sold food stamps that could be used to buy foods. With the purchase of a $1.00 orange stamp, 50¢ worth of blue stamps would be received in addition. Orange stamps were to be used on any food, while blue could only be used to buy what the department had determined to be surplus. This program ended in 1943, as surplus and unemployment were no longer of concern. Congress authorized a Food Stamp pilot that ran from 1961-1964, and 1964, Congress, under President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Food Stamp Act of 1964. The premise of the new program would be to strengthen the agricultural community, while providing more nutrition among low-income households. Under the Food Stamp Act, eligibility standards were to be developed by states; eligible participants would purchase food stamps, which represented an opportunity to more nearly obtain a low-cost nutritionally adequate diet. A food stamp dollar would be stretched farther than a regular dollar in regards to purchasing food. All items were available for purchase with food stamps, other than alcoholic beverages and imported foods. The department estimated that national participation would eventually reach 4…

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