Policy & Benefits

From the local to the national level, public policies specifically aim to alleviate poverty and the burdens faced by food insecure families around the country. But many policies have shortcomings or limitations.

Feeding America's Policy & Benefits research explores how well public benefit and charitable programs work to support families in poverty, as well as the kinds of coping strategies that families exercise to manage their resource constraints.


Exploring the Challenges and Coping Strategies in Households Relying on SNAP and Food Pantries 

Qualitative and limited quantitative data were collected in two states from households using both SNAP and charitable food pantries. Approximately 60% of households identified health conditions, with diabetes and cardiovascular disease being the most commonly cited. Households also experienced challenges with employment, living arrangements and household composition, and transportation, among others. Published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, this study also provides insight into strategies employed by households to surmount these obstacles.

2018 - Feeding America and American University


SNAP Coming Up Short

This analysis examines the gap between the SNAP maximum benefit for a meal ($1.85) and the local cost of a meal for a family of four. The research found that the SNAP benefit does not cover the cost of a meal in 99% of the US. The average cost of a meal across the US is $2.36, 27% higher than the SNAP maximum. Monthly, SNAP benefits fall short of the average cost of meals by $46.50 per person.

2018 - Feeding America and the Urban Institute