Who Controls the Food Stamp Program in the United States?

Not everyone who is living in the United States enjoys a comfortable living and can afford some of the high food costs. Providing for your family is difficult and if you have a large family, than you need more than an adequate job to support the entire family. With this being such a huge issue, the United States has taken a proactive role in trying to come up with a solution which led to the creation of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
This division is in charge of providing financial assistance to low income families for purchasing food. SNAP is a federal aid program which is actually under the watchful eye of the US Department of Agriculture. However, the U.S. states individually are responsible for distributing the food stamps or assistance to anyone who they find redeemable within this program.

The creation of such a program has been accredited to many people; however the most notable would be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program’s first administrator, Milo Perkins. Once they had this program in place which took several years to fine tune, they set out limits and eligibility; it was than important to fund the program which would be a joint effort of both the Department of Taxation and Department of Agriculture. It is important to note, that the majority of funding does come from taxes provided by the working class or higher income families.

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The eligibility of who would benefit from SNAP has been up for debate as well. There have been several issues raised regarding specific definitions like: What is classified as low income? Can funding be used towards household rent? What classifies nutritional food within the program? As a matter of fact, food nutrition has been a problem for several participates within the program since many families on SNAP would often substitute healthy food with unhealthy choices to redeem the full benefits of the food stamps. The Department of Health has seen a widening difference in heart disease and obesity among those who are in the program.

Another issue which has risen lately is the actually application process which many feel is a direct strike against their civil rights. Some people complain that the process is way too long and the questions asked require too much information required to prove their responses on the application. However, SNAP has claimed that the application process has gotten stricter since fraud and abuse of the system has increased over several years. A typical process would include the following steps:

  1. Use the food stamp pre-screening eligibility tool to check your eligibility and how much you can receive. This calculator is not an application for food stamps.
  2. The next process is to get proof of income and asset information to than proceed to the next step.
  3. You will than head to your local SNAP office to do the actual application filing. At this point you will submit all the information that you have gathered for submission.
  4. At this point you will wait to hear back from the SNAP U.S. state office. If they deem you are eligible than you will be sent an EBT card for you to have your benefits transferred to that card.

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