Food Stamps and SNAP: History, Policy and Politics

  • Matthew Gritter


The program known as food stamps and SNAP serves over 45 million people. After a brief incarnation in the 1930s, the Food Stamp Program was revived in the 1960s and in 1973 was authorized under the Farm Bill, allowing it to continue in part due to logrolling between urban and rural lawmakers. In the past two decades, food stamps and SNAP has endured despite massive changes to the welfare system. Three factors have allowed the program to continue without major changes: authorizing the program within the Farm Bill, the characterization of the program as a safety net of last resort and the construction of the program as benefiting the deserving poor. Each of these factors has preserved food stamps and SNAP in an often difficult policy environment.


Personal Responsibility Welfare Reform Food Stamp Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Block Grant 
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Copyright information

© Matthew Gritter 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Gritter
    • 1
  1. 1.Angelo State UniversityUSA

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