Children’s HealthWatch research on SNAP was featured in a Zero to Three blog post on the ARRA benefit rollback.
SNAP Cuts Negotiations Could Yield Tricks, not Treats, for Babies
With small tummies expected to tighten up, we should take note of this quietly creeping danger to the health and well-being of many families and particularly infants and toddlers. Hunger and food insecurity are estimated to cost the United States $90 billion annually in direct and indirect costs. The nutrition of young children figures into the daily lives of many SNAP households. Forty percent of SNAP recipients live in a household with a child under age 5. These young children comprise 16% of all SNAP recipients.
In fact, Children’s HealthWatch has dubbed this important program “the SNAP vaccine,” because it provides critical ingredients for the early development of eligible children. Young children who receive SNAP, when compared to children who don’t but likely are eligible, are significantly less likely to be at risk of being underweight or having developmental delays. Their families are less likely to have to make trade-offs between meeting other basic needs, such as healthcare, housing, or heating, that are equally important to early development. What’s more, by looking at SNAP benefit increases provided in the 2009 stimulus bill, Children’s HealthWatch found that if you boost the dosage of the vaccine, children are in better health.