The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Mariana Chilton: SNAP is a Great American Assistance Program

December 7, 2016
Event Date: 
December 7, 2016

Today, the House Agriculture Committee released a report to summarize the Committee’s two-year review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Holding numerous hearings on all aspects of SNAP has shown one thing: SNAP is a great American assistance program.

I was delighted to provide testimony at one of the hearings and feedback to the Committee on the hearings overall.  As a public health research scientist with over twenty years of experience in studying the health effects of hunger, I know SNAP is vital to the health, well-being, and strength of our country.

This sentiment was stated over and over again in the hearings, SNAP is key to addressing and preventing hunger.  SNAP boosts local economies, promotes child health, and supports working families when their wages are not enough.  Experts also shared that SNAP has an incredibly low fraud rate and provides a boost to the economy in economic downturns.

In my work as the director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch, and founder of Witnesses to Hunger, I know how deeply hunger is felt in our nation.  Hunger effects our children’s education, our workers’ ability to focus, and our nation’s strength.

In my feedback to the Committee, I gave three recommendations: 

  1. Protect SNAP as an entitlement program
  2. Make improvements to SNAP, and
  3. Take action now.

I hope the Committee is committed to “better serve those who fall on hard times” as Chairman Conaway stated in his remarks today.  Hungry Americans are best served by a strong and robust SNAP program, a program that supports our children, veterans, seniors, and working families.


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