SNAP Analysis for Health Impact Assessment of U.S. Farm Bill

2012-2013
Prepared for
The Pew Charitable Trusts
family in grocery store shopping

Two of the changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) proposed in the 2014 U.S. Farm Bills were (1) eliminating the standard utility allowance for those receiving a nominal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program benefit and (2) eliminating broad-based categorical eligibility for SNAP.

Mathematica used two microsimulation models—the MATH SIPP+ model and the QC Minimodel—to assess the effects of the proposed changes on SNAP eligibles and participants. Separately, we used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data to examine the health profile of SNAP participants, including the number who are overweight or obese, have type 2 diabetes, have cardiovascular disease, or have risk factors for metabolic syndrome. We also estimated the effect on SNAP participants and benefits of converting SNAP to a state block grant program.