Barriers to receiving SNAP increase risk of poor child health, hunger
March 08, 2011
Research shows that barriers to receiving SNAP benefits can harm children's health and growth.
Despite dramatic increases in the number of households receiving SNAP benefits since the start of the recession, some families in need of nutritional support are still not participating. Research by Children's HealthWatch shows that young children in families that did not receive SNAP due to administrative and other difficulties were more likely to be:
- child food insecure (sometimes called child hunger)
- significantly underweight for their age (an indication of under nutrition).
These young children were also more likely to live in households that were struggling to put food on the table (houshold food insecure) and living in crowded/doubled up conditions or moving frequently.
Removing barriers to accessing SNAP can protect the health of America's children. Our previous reseaerch has shown that children in food-insecure households whose families participate in SNAP are significantly more likely to be in good or excellent health than children in similar families that do not have access to the program.
SNAP is an effective public health intervention designed to help meet the nutritional needs of American's in difficult times. Reauthorization of the Farm Bill is an opportunity to remove barriers to accessing SNAP for eligible families by investing in outreach and education, community application assistance, continued streamlining of application processes, and increased support for state administation and training.
Click Here to read Too Many Hurdles: Barriers to receiving SNAP Put Children's Health at Risk.