Back to Top

Time to Make Some SNAP Changes? New AAEA Member Research

Study shows how assistance program could be changed to fight food insecurity

Children are going hungry. Senior citizens may not know where their next meal is coming from. Families across the country are finding it harder to consistently put food on the table because food insecurity is at extraordinarily high levels in the United States.

Many people get some help in the form of government assistance programs. The most notable is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP.

“SNAP is the best vehicle we have in the country to be effective in fighting food insecurity,” said Craig Gundersen of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. “But despite its success in reducing food insecurity many SNAP participants are still food insecure.”

There has not been a change in the SNAP benefits method since the program started back in 1979. So is it time for an adjustment to help people from going hungry? That’s the focus of Gundersen’s paper, “Reconsidering the SNAP Benefit Formula”.

What could be done to ensure that even more SNAP recipients can escape food insecurity? And how much would it cost?

Gundersen and his co-authors (Brent Kreider of Iowa State University and John Pepper of the University of Virginia) will answer those questions and more during an AAEA session at the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, January 6-8. If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190