DiNitto (2011) noted public assistance programs both cash and in kind, may not reduce national poverty rates dramatically, but they can substantially increase the quality of life of those who are poor. Has the American society effectively reduced food insecurities? With the reduction in hunger, is the society better off now than it was 5 years ago?
Supplemental Nutrition Program Assistance
According to DiNitto (2011), the most basic subsistence need the government meets is for food. The federal government’s main food program for low income individuals and families is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is designed to reduce food insecurity and disrupted eating patterns ...view middle of the document...
In the end of 2009, there were 33.7 million individuals participating in SNAP (DiNitto, 2011). Blumenthal, Ludwig & Willett (2012) express that many children in low income families do not consume adequate amounts of nutritionists’ foods for optimal physical development and cognitive performance. In 2012, SNAP had 46.6 million recipients, nearly half where children (Blumenthal, Ludwig & Willett, 2012). Therefore, statistically in 2012, it can be approximated that 23 million of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program reciprocates where children age 18 or younger. This suggests that the program has improved children’s quality of life, by having the assurance of the EBT to purchase food, in times of poverty.
While hunger still exists within our nation, the program has adopted slowly to a changing nutritional environment (Brownell & Ludwig, 2011). The 2014 Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Research and Evaluation Plan, proposes that its results will broadly inform policy makers, service providers, other partners, and the public to promote wide use of successful strategies. On-going projects support several key analytic tools and analyses to address SNAP participation trends and impacts; generates annual reports on the characteristics, participation rates and patterns of participation; and supports the Agency’s capacity to assess cost and distributional impacts of proposed changes to SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs. (FNS, 2014).
Reduction in Hunger, Measuring the Effects
The image of food insecurities within the United States historically has been that of an underweight child with inadequate calorie intake. SNAP has been successful in reducing, although not entirely eliminating, this form of deprivation (Blumenthal, S., Ludwig, D. & Willett, W., 2012). The current Nutrition Assistance Program Report (2013), states that estimating the effect of SNAP on food insecurity, using household survey data, is challenging. Households that choose to participate in SNAP can differ in systematic ways, from households that do not participate, making it hard to distinguish the impact of SNAP from these other factors (FNS, 2013). Results showed some significant key findings, which have concluded that people who participate in SNAP for 6 months where associated with a decrease in food insecurity by about 5 to 10 percent, including households...