The Effects of SNAP on Individuals' Well-Being
(Poverty and Income Policy)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This panel, comprised of both practitioners and academics, provides important empirical evidence on the effects of the SNAP program on low-income families' well-being. Historically, research on SNAP's benefits has focused on measuring the extent to which SNAP alleviates contemporaneous poverty. Recently, however, researchers have begun to evaluate SNAP from an investment perspective, investigating the extent to which the program affects multiple measures of well-being that lay the foundation for individuals' later economic success. The papers included in this session take different approaches, consider different aspects of the program, and examine different outcomes, which, when taken together, provide a broad picture of how SNAP affects families' welfare. The first paper extends recent work demonstrating that prenatal and early life access to SNAP improves health in both infancy and adulthood, to examine whether these benefits spillover to the health of later offspring. The second paper documents the relationship between food availability--as related to SNAP's monthly distribution cycle--and adolescents' performance on high stakes achievement tests. The final paper focuses on how the monthly distribution cycle affects SNAP participants' reports of food insecurity.