As millions wait on food stamp approvals, feds tell states to speed it up

To adequately staff safety net programs, some states are boosting workforce funding, and others are investing in new computer systems to speed up claims processing. But food security advocates say recent backlogs are a symptom of long-term disinvestment.

Post-pandemic, SNAP benefits aren’t high enough to buy food

A new study finds that people in three-quarters of the nation’s counties don’t receive enough food assistance to pay for their groceries.

Work requirements for SNAP don’t get people into jobs

COMMENTARY | Work requirements for SNAP benefits don't boost employment, a study finds. Instead, they have adverse effects on homeless people.

Federal Covid Changes Helped Feed Twice as Many Kids During Summer

Some advocates say the summer feeding programs could be more flexible even when there’s not a national emergency.

These Four Challenges Will Shape the Next Farm Bill

COMMENTARY | Even if you don’t live near farm country, you’ve got a stake in the upcoming farm bill—including what kind of farms your tax dollars support.

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New Data Sheds Light on Impact of Expanded SNAP Benefits on Households

A Census survey found that 1 in 4 households where enhanced food aid ended March 1 now report “sometimes” or “often” not having enough to eat.

SNAP Work Requirements Don’t Actually Get More People Working

COMMENTARY | But they do drastically limit the availability of food aid.

State & Local Roundup: Massachusetts Fights 'Hunger Cliff' with SNAP Boost

Plus: Tennessee expels Black lawmakers; Liberal Democrats score wins in the Midwest; Connecticut governor insults Houston; and more news to use from around the country.

Extra Food Assistance Cushioned the Early Pandemic’s Blow on Kids’ Mental Health

COMMENTARY | Expanding SNAP helped shield low-income children from some of the harm caused by economic upheaval when the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Kids Eat Free! States Push to Make School Meals Available to All

Lawmakers around the country have passed or are considering bills that would make universal free school meals permanent following the end of a similar federal pandemic-era program.

States Strive to Help SNAP Recipients Cope With Lower Benefits

More than 41 million people bought food with SNAP benefits last year.

States Scramble to Replace Ripped-Off SNAP Benefits

Food stamp cards don’t have the technological or consumer protections of credit and debit cards.

SNAP Emergency Allotments Scheduled to Terminate in March

According to hunger relief experts, amending the 2023 Farm Bill is the only sustainable way to shield rural households from increased food insecurity long-term.

Biden Administration Looks for Ways to Provide More Free School Meals

With a pandemic-era program expired and no help from Congress on the horizon, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says his department is considering options for how it can take action.

States Must Plug Into Federal Antifraud System for Food Aid Under New Rule

The system, meant to help prevent duplicate participation, is expected to make enrollment and oversight easier with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

States Investing in SNAP Fraud Detection and Prevention

Several states won U.S. Department of Agriculture grants for services and programs to help stop fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Advocates Look for New Ways to Fill City 'Food Deserts'

An estimated 53.6 million people live outside an easy walk or drive to a full-service supermarket.

More States Are Forgoing Extra Federal Food Aid

At least 16 states have opted out of receiving millions in pandemic food aid.

Taco Bowls and Chicken Curry: Medi-Cal Delivers Ready Meals in Grand Health Care Experiment

In California's Inland Empire, where many residents have diabetes, a health plan is delivering healthy, prepared meals to those lucky enough to get them.

Code for America Unveils First States in Safety Net Cohort

The nonprofit aims to help states build digital tools and services to connect people with health, food assistance and other benefits programs.