Breastfeeding protects against diarrhoea and common childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, and may also have longer-term health benefits for the mother and child, such as reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Measures to prevent childhood diarrhoeal episodes include promoting zinc intake. Tools You Can Use: This indicator is the prevalence of children with diarrhoea who received oral rehydration therapy and continued feeding. Today, in large part because of these programs, such severe conditions are no longer found in large numbers.
Measured as a share of the economy gross domestic product or GDP , SNAP spending fell by 7 percent in and another 8 percent in , and the Congressional Budget Office CBO projects that it will return to the level in the next few years. Thus, as currently structured, SNAP is not contributing to long-term budgetary pressures.
SNAP benefits are an entitlement, which means that anyone who qualifies under program rules can receive benefits. As a result, SNAP responds quickly and effectively to support low-income families and communities during times of increased need. Enrollment expands when the economy weakens and contracts when the economy recovers and poverty declines. In this way, SNAP helps families to bridge temporary periods of unemployment or a family crisis.
If a parent loses her job or has a job that pays low wages, SNAP can help her feed her children until she is able to improve her circumstances. SNAP helps households with limited resources to purchase adequate food. Studies show that SNAP benefits have reduced food insecurity for those households. SNAP benefits are one of the fastest, most effective forms of economic stimulus because they get money into the economy quickly during a recession. Low-income individuals generally spend all of their income meeting daily needs such as shelter, food, and transportation, so every dollar in SNAP that a low-income family receives enables the family to spend an additional dollar on food or other items.
Some 80 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed within two weeks of receipt and 97 percent are spent within a month. SNAP is heavily focused on the poor. Families with the greatest need receive the largest benefits, as noted above. About 92 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty line, and 56 percent go to households below half of the poverty line. These features make SNAP a powerful anti-poverty tool.
SNAP lifted 2 million children above half of the poverty line in , according to this same analysis — more than any other program. By helping families buy food and freeing up resources for other basic needs, SNAP helps reduce food insecurity and other hardships such as trouble paying bills or rent.
In addition to acting as a safety net for people who are elderly, disabled, or temporarily unemployed, SNAP is designed to supplement the wages of low-income workers.
Millions of Americans work in jobs with low wages, unpredictable schedules, and no benefits such as paid sick leave — all of which contribute to high turnover and spells of unemployment. SNAP provides monthly benefits that help fill the gaps for workers with low and inconsistent pay, and can help workers weather periods without a job. Workers who participate in SNAP most commonly work in service occupations, such as cooks or home health aides, and sales occupations, such as cashiers, which are often jobs with features such as low pay and income volatility.
Several features of SNAP make it an effective work support. The SNAP benefit formula contains an important work incentive. For every additional dollar a SNAP recipient earns, her benefits decline gradually, by only 24 to 36 cents. This means, for most SNAP households, the program continues to serve as an income support — making it easier for families to afford food — as they earn more and work toward financial stability and self-sufficiency.
Because SNAP is an entitlement program and it serves all eligible people who apply, participants who lose jobs can apply for SNAP and receive it quickly, and workers who participate do not risk seeing their total income earnings plus SNAP fall if the promise of increased hours or a new, higher-paying job does not come through. The share of all SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP has also increased — from about 27 percent in to about 32 percent in Most SNAP recipients who can work do so.
The rates are even higher for families with children. About two-thirds of SNAP recipients are not expected to work, primarily because they are children, elderly, or disabled.
SNAP enables low-income households to afford more healthy foods. In addition, all states operate SNAP nutrition education programs to help participants make healthy food choices. Recent research on the nationwide expansion of food stamps in the s and s finds that children born to poor women with access to food stamps had better health outcomes as adults — and girls grew up to be more self-sufficient — than those born in counties that had not yet implemented the program.
SNAP acts as a first responder in the wake of natural disasters, providing critical food assistance to vulnerable households. After disasters, USDA and states work together to provide quick, targeted assistance.
Streamlined data entry and food coding: Dietary intake data gathered by interview is entered directly into NDSR. The software searches for foods and brand products by name.
Sophisticated search algorithms locate the food e. The coding of foods and their variable ingredients and preparation methods occurs as data are entered, with calculation of nutrients occurring immediately.
Comprehensive, complete, and current database: This database includes over 18, foods, including 7, brand name products. Ingredient choices and preparation method options in NDSR provide more than , food variants. Values for nutrient, nutrient ratios and other food components are generated from the database. Also, food group assignments e. This report reveals that, after several years of decline, the national food hardship rate for all households increased from These programs are administered at the federal level by the U.
Department of Agriculture USDA , and in each state typically through the department of education, health, or agriculture. Subscribe to the Meals Matter: Benefits of the Afterschool Nutrition Programs The Afterschool Nutrition Programs provide federal funding to serve nutritious meals and snacks to children at sites that offer educational and enrichment programming.
They also operate through the National School Lunch Program, which allows schools to provide a snack after school. Meals and snacks can be served to children up to age 18 and 19 if their birthday is during the school year at sites offering educational and enrichment activities, such as schools, recreation centers, YMCAs, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Extended-day schools that run for an additional hour or more also may be eligible. Sites generally qualify if they are located in a low-income area. Find out about reimbursement rates for meals and snacks. The new nutrition standards go into effect in October Now is the time to move toward those new standards.
Learn more about additional steps that can help build high quality afterschool nutrition programs and incorporating local foods into afterschool meal and snack programs. Strategies to Expand the Afterschool Nutrition Programs Building a stronger sustainable program, improved policies, and expanded partnerships with national, state, and local stakeholders are key strategies to increasing participation in the Afterschool Meal Program.
Find out how to develop a more sustainable Afterschool Meal Program. Serving Afterschool Meals and Snacks in Rural Communities The Afterschool Nutrition Programs fill the hunger gap that exists after school for millions of low-income children in rural communities.