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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Department of Agriculture

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program, puts healthy food on the table for millions of low income Americans every month.  The program supplements the budgets of low-income people by providing benefits via an electronic benefit card which is used like a debit card at most food retailers.  Through nutrition education partners, the program helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices.  Finally, SNAP also provides a significant boost to local economies. For every $5 in new benefits, $9.2 is generated in total economic activity.

Agency Accountable Official: Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture



Total Payments (Outlays)more info


Improper Paymentsmore info


Improper Payment Ratemore info


3.8% Improper Payment Rate Target more info

All amounts are in billions of dollars

Tabular view for Projected improper payments Tabular View   

Program Comments

SNAP is a means-tested federal program that is administered at the state level with monitoring and oversight by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

Designed to respond to economic conditions, participation in the program has recently grown and benefits have increased, yet the Food and Nutrition Service remains strongly committed to program integrity.  FNS takes its stewardship responsibilities for tax payer dollars seriously through an established quality-control system and long-standing support for payment accuracy initiatives.  SNAP’s well respected quality control system has been in effect since the 1970s. The most recent error rate of 4.36% is the lowest in history, continuing an almost decade long trend. Read More...