News Tip: Plan to Limit SNAP Benefits Would Harm Families, Children, Expert Says

The federal government proposes limiting access to food stamps for families with assets, such as savings.

“The current categorical eligibility rules, which the new USDA rules would limit, allow states flexibility to provide the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to working families, even when they get a modest raise and even when they have a modest amount of savings,” says Anna Gassman-Pines, an associate professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

“The current rules also reduce red tape and hassle for families to access other benefits, such as the National School Lunch program. All of these things provide supports for families to improve their economic circumstances and get ahead.”

“By disallowing states that flexibility, the result will be -- by the administration’s own estimate -- that 3 million people will lose the support of SNAP, which will worsen families’ well-being.”

Anna Gassman-Pines is an associate professor of public policy and of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a faculty fellow with Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. Her research focuses on low-wage work, family life, and the effects of welfare and employment policy on child and maternal well-being in low-income families.

Podcast: Gassman-Pines discusses her research on the connection between the timing of SNAP benefits and children’s test scores.

For additional comment, contact Gassman-Pines at: