The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ends today which means a benefit cut for nearly 48 million SNAP recipients. For a household of four, this cut equates to a $36 reduction in SNAP benefits per month. Congressional work on the Farm Bill, which funds SNAP and SNAP-Ed, commenced this week with both the House and Senate proposing further cuts over the next ten years. The House proposal would cut the $80 billion program by an additional $4 billion per year while the Senate proposal would cut the program by $400 million per year.
The lesser recognized component of the SNAP program, SNAP-Ed, is a federal / state partnership that supports nutrition education for persons eligible for the SNAP.
State agencies who conduct nutrition education are eligible for reimbursement up to 50% of their SNAP-Ed costs by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. In Minnesota, SNAP-Ed is delivered by community educators from the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; these two agencies serve all counties in the state and six tribal reservations.