Although the central objective of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is to reduce food insecurity in the United States, the majority of SNAP households are food insecure. Higher benefits may lead these households to food security. To evaluate this possibility, we use a question from the Current Population Survey that asks respondents how much additional money they would need to be food secure. Food insecure SNAP households report needing an average of about $42 per week to become food secure. Under a set of assumptions about the measurement of benefits and behavioral responses, we find that an increase in weekly benefits of $42 for SNAP households would lead to a 62 percent decline in food insecurity at a cost of about $27 billion.
- Food insecurity
- Food stamp program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)