The Common Good

The Genius Of Food Stamps

Date: January 24, 2014

Last week, Lisa Sharon Harper of Sojourners wrote about how views of food stamps (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) have changed over the years.

SNAP began in 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act as part of his unconditional “War on Poverty.” In his remarks upon signing, Johnson said: “I believe the Food Stamp Act weds the best of the humanitarian instincts of the American people with the best of the free enterprise system. Instead of establishing a duplicate public system to distribute food surplus to the needy, this act permits us to use our highly efficient commercial food distribution system.”