SNAP is a government-sponsored food assistance program that was introduced several decades ago to provide nutritional support for lower-income families. In 2013, federal spending on SNAP reached $76 billion, an increase of more than 150 percent versus 2007. This increase was driven by broad scale need that emerged during The Great Recession and the subsequent roll out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was enacted to ease recession-driven hardships and stimulate economic growth.
On Oct. 31, 2013, the provisions of ARRA for SNAP program support expired, resulting in an average reduction of benefits of 5.4 percent per SNAP household.
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