What happens to the hungry when the SNAP program shrinks : The Indicator from Planet Money One in five American households doesn't have enough food to eat. And the program that's supposed to help is about to shrink.
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When SNAP Gets Squeezed

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When SNAP Gets Squeezed

When SNAP Gets Squeezed

When SNAP Gets Squeezed

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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
"SNAP/EBT Food Stamp Benefits Accepted" is displayed on a screen inside a Family Dollar Stores Inc. store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to throttle the U.S. economy, millions of Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to feed themselves. One in five U.S. households now doesn't have enough food to eat, and the number of mothers with children under 12 who say their kids aren't eating enough because they simply can't afford food, has increased by 460 percent since the end of 2018.

One of the most effective government programs designed to combat hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be referred to as food stamps. Back in March, Congress passed the Families First Act, which temporarily expanded SNAP benefits by an estimated 40 percent. Still, even with that expansion, the SNAP program hasn't managed to meet America's food security needs, and the expansion is set to expire soon. Today on The Indicator, we look at what might happen if the SNAP program shrinks suddenly, and what Congress could do to help hungry families.

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