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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

NYU: The History, Politics, and Public Health Implications of SNAP

A commentary authored by Dr. Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University and contributing faculty member to NYU’s College of Global Public Health, was published by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) titled “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): History, Politics, and Public Health Implications.” 

This commentary introduces a special section of AJPH on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the U.S. government’s largest antihunger program and third-largest antipoverty program. SNAP demonstrably lifts adults, children, and families out of poverty, thereby constituting a vital component of this nation’s public health safety net. 

Despite its well-documented benefits, SNAP is under political and budgetary siege, mainly from congressional representatives and lobbying groups opposed to a federal role in welfare. In part, SNAP is protected from total annihilation by its unusual authorizing legislation — the Farm Bill. This commentary provides a brief overview of the political history of SNAP and its Farm Bill location as background to the deeper analyses provided in this series of articles.

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