How did the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program evolve from a Depression-era effort to use up surplus goods into America’s foundational food assistance program? And how does SNAP survive?
Incisive and original, Why SNAP Works: A Political History–And Defense–of the Food Stamp Program (U California Press, 2023) is the first book to provide a comprehensive history and evaluation of the nation’s most important food insecurity and poverty alleviation effort. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, is the nation’s largest government effort for helping low-income Americans obtain an adequate diet. Everyone has an opinion about SNAP, not all of them positive, but its benefits are felt broadly and across party lines. Christopher Bosso makes a clear, nuanced, and impassioned case for protecting this unique food voucher program, exploring its history and breaking down the facts for readers across the political spectrum. Why SNAP Works is an essential resource for anyone concerned about food access, poverty, and the “welfare system” in the United States.
Stephen Pimpare is a Senior Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.