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The Right to Food in the United States: The Role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Craig Gundersen

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2019, vol. 101, issue 5, 1328-1336

Abstract: The “right to food” has been formally implemented in some countries and, in other contexts, it is used as an exhortation for governments or other entities to take actions to reduce food insecurity. Central to any comprehensive set of policies to reduce food insecurity are food assistance programs directed towards vulnerable households. One example of such a food assistance program is in the United States, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). I begin by discussing one measure of a right to food, namely, to be free from food insecurity and then turn to a consideration the role of SNAP in meeting this goal. To do so, I cover five components that would seem to be essential to any definition of a right to food and how SNAP does and does not meet these components.

Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:wly:ajagec:v:101:y:2019:i:5:p:1328-1336