Food stamps and farmers markets: Why the USDA’s latest move isn’t enough

Food stamps and farmers markets: Why the USDA’s latest move isn’t enough

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is designed to aid America’s poorest citizens by providing a stipend to support the cost of food and beverages. The program has come under criticism in the past few decades due to the high proportion of unhealthy and processed items that are often purchased using SNAP funds. In recent years, the USDA has worked with thousands of farmers markets across the country to provide incentives for SNAP recipients to buy fresh produce with their federal dollars. While this is a step in the right direction, there are limitations to this approach that necessitate further action by the USDA in order to prioritize nutrition in SNAP and thwart the rising obesity epidemic.