The Unsustainability of SNAP

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) program which is within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began originally as a way to supplement food that had been deemed overproduced in the late 1930s. It lasted several years until it was deemed no longer necessary because overproduced goods were being marketed more efficiently while unemployment was decreasing.

During the 1960s, President Kennedy initiated pilot food stamp programs reaching 22 states by 1964, but it no longer required stamps only be used for surplus food. President Johnson signed SNAP into law in 1964 with an estimated 4 million participants and a $360 million federal budget. It quickly grew to 15,000,000 participants by 1974 and now reaches a staggering 42,772,244 participants as of March 2017. This is not sustainable as it has encouraged those using the SNAP program to stay at lower paying jobs to avoid rising above the qualifications for assistance.

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