Fact Sheet 11: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


The United States is one of the wealthiest and bountiful nations, yet people of color disproportionately grapple with hunger and food insecurity. While welfare policies help mitigate these issues, they often exclude people of color. Our country’s food system was built on inequity; without policy intervention, these inequities will continue.  

“Food insecurity closely parallels poverty rates. Americans who experience food insecurity and hunger lack the purchasing power to acquire  plentiful food. People of color, who disproportionately live in poverty, also disproportionately experience hunger.”


  • Amid political will to restrict Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), SNAP (previously known as the Food Stamp Program) also became a casualty of attacks by portraying recipients as lazy and happy to be dependent on government provision.
  • Spurred by racist assumptions that SNAP recipients do not want to work, the wave of welfare reform restricted and denied access to formerly incarcerated individuals, legal immigrants, and able-bodied adults without dependents. Though some were likely still eligible and needed assistance, many families of color stopped receiving food stamps.