Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition program in the United States and reaches the most children at risk of hunger in our states.  SNAP improves families’ access to nutritious food by providing resources to purchase food.  In 2011, 44.7 million people participated in SNAP each month.  Almost half of those people were children (23 million).  The majority of SNAP benefits, about 70 percent, go to households with children.  SNAP is our most powerful and effective anti-hunger program for kids. 

SNAP helps keep our children and our economy healthy. In times of financial hardship, caused by the loss of a job or a change in family size, SNAP helps families have the means to get the food they need.  In 2011, a household with children that received SNAP benefits earned on average $943 a month.  These families received around $413 in SNAP benefits a month for an average of 9 months to purchase food to keep their children fed and healthy.  The average SNAP benefit per meal is less than $1.50. Even the small amount of SNAP benefits that families receive for such a short duration, the program has significant impact on the healthy development of children and on the economy. 

  • According to Children’s HealthWatch, young children in families who receive SNAP are less likely to be underweight or at risk for developmental issues compared to children in families that are eligible, but do not receive SNAP benefits
  • Ten percent of households with children that are food insecure upon enrolling in SNAP will move to be food secure after six months of receiving SNAP benefits
  • For every $5.00 in SNAP benefits a family receives, $9.00 is spent in the local community, primarily on groceries from the neighborhoods supermarket


To increases access to and participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the No Kid Hungry campaign works with public and private organizations at the national, state and local levels to:

  • Advocate for policies that protect and strengthen SNAP
  • Increase awareness of and participation in the program through outreach strategies
  • Empower families how to shop for and prepare healthy, affordable meals on a SNAP budget through Cooking Matters