The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition held a hearing addressing the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Among those delivering testimony, Robert Doar, a Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute testified that SNAP doesn’t do enough to lift people from poverty.
“I have been a strong supporter of providing aid to people in need, but I also want them to escape poverty,” Doar testified to subcommittee members. “Assistance programs that do not lead people into employment, but instead finance non-work, will have one sure outcome, they will keep people poor.”
On the other hand, Stacy Dean, a food assistance policy specialist, testified to SNAP’s effectiveness.
“SNAP is a powerful anti-poverty program,” said Dean, during her testimony to the subcommittee. “While benefits are modest, just $1.40 per person per meal, they do have a big impact. SNAP lifted about nearly 5 million Americans above the poverty line in 2012, including 2.2 million children.”
It was pointed out in the hearing that in five years, participation in SNAP has grown from 28.2 million to 47.6 million recipients.