The Making of SNAP

Evan Stoltzfus

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Step 1: Recognizing the problem

Some factors that played into the recognition of SNAP was that Many citizens were living in poverty, low Income Families were barely getting by, and people were devastated from the Great Depression. Henry Wallace (Secretary of Agriculture) and Milo Perkins (First Administrator of the Food Stamp Program) are known as the people that pushed for this program.

Step 2: Formulating the policy

From 1954 on, Congresswoman Leonor K. Sullivan strove unceasingly to pass food stamp program legislation. Then Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman submitted proposed legislation to establish a permanent FSP on April 17, 1964. The eighteen years between the end of the first FSP and the inception of the next were filled with studies, reports, and legislative proposals. Prominent U.S. Senators actively associated with attempts to enact a food stamp program during this period included George Aiken, Robert M. La Follette Jr., Hubert Humphrey, Estes Kefauver, and Stuart Symington.
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Step 3: Adopting the policy

On Sept. 21, 1959, P.L. 86-341 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to operate a food stamp system through Jan. 31, 1962. President John F. Kennedy's first Executive Order called for expanded food distribution and, on February 2, 1961, he announced that food stamp pilot programs would be initiated. The bill eventually passed by Congress was H.R. 10222, introduced by Congresswoman Sullivan. Key players involved in this step were Congress, President John F. Kennedy, Secretary of Agriculture

Step 4: Implementing the policy

At least three supporting examples of how this step was completed: The Food Stamp Act of 1964 appropriated $75 million to 350,000 individuals in 40 counties and three cities. They required that the recipients should purchase their food stamps, while paying the average money spent on food then receiving an amount of food stamps representing an opportunity more nearly to obtain a low-cost nutritionally adequate diet. Prohibitions against discrimination on basis of race, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs

Step 5: Evaluating the policy

The early 1970s were a period of growth in participation, concern about the cost of providing food stamp benefits, and questions about administration, primarily timely certification. During this time, the issue was framed that would dominate food stamp legislation ever after: How to balance program access with program accountability. Three major pieces of legislation shaped this period, leading up to massive reform to follow. One was P.L. 91-671 (January 11, 1971), which established uniform national standards of eligibility and work requirements. Amid all the themes, the one that became the rallying cry for FSP reform was "EPR"—eliminate the purchase requirement—because of the barrier to participation the purchase requirement represented.
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