Federal Nutrition Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: SNAP

Federal nutrition assistance programs have served as a first line of defense against food and nutrition insecurity for millions of families during the pandemic response. Since the onset of the pandemic, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants and administrators have faced new challenges and existing barriers, such as inequitable access to SNAP online purchasing, overburdened administrative staff and agency systems, and low digital literacy and technology deficits. In response, SNAP online purchasing increased rapidly by March 2021, and program flexibilities and waivers allowed states to adapt their standard operating procedures.

This issue brief from Healthy Eating Research presents key findings from three rapid-response studies that examined challenges and opportunities for SNAP due to these program changes. The studies also highlighted additional policy, program, and research efforts needed in the short term to improve states’ ability to administer SNAP and make services more accessible.

Read the issue brief.

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