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Hunger Beat

SNAP Matters to Public Health!

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) is the nation's primary nutrition assistance program. Last year, the Greater Chicago Food Depository's SNAP Outreach Program staff assisted nearly 2,300 households with the completion and submission of their SNAP applications to the Department of Human Services during visits to food pantries and older adult sites.

Recently, Craig Gundersen, a University of Illinois economist, stressed that social safety net programs, like SNAP, that reduce psychological stressors for low-income families also ultimately lead to a reduction in childhood obesity. Gundersen says:

"If we cut back on benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or otherwise reduce its availability to people, that would increase the amount of stress that low-income families would face, which would then subsequently lead to increases in obesity."

Research shows that our work to connect individuals and families in Cook County with SNAP benefits not only reduces hunger, but also plays an integral role in improving public health. Click here to learn more about SNAP Outreach at the Food Depository.

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