The 50th Anniversary of SNAP & A Challenge for All of You

Monday, August 25th, 2014

In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America,” urging Congress and all Americans to join him in the fight.  Many of the federal programs that began 50 years ago to help wage this war are still in existence today, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The SNAP program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program.  In 2013, it helped more than 47 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet in a typical month (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

The average SNAP recipient in Virginia received about $128 a month (or about $4.29 a day) in fiscal year 2013. However, in November 2013, the average Virginia household lost $19 in SNAP benefits because the 2009 Recovery Act’s boost to the program was not renewed by Congress.

In order to raise awareness of the SNAP Program and to offer a glimpse of the challenges faced by many who rely on SNAP, VPLC issued The Food Stamp Challenge last year.  For five days, participants lived on the average weekly food stamp benefit, which is about $32 per person in Virginia.

To read our reflections on participating in the challenge, please click here.  We are doing the SNAP Challenge again this year and invite you to join us by signing up here.

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