Senator Booker Cosponsors Bipartisan SNAP Legislation To Improve Nutrition Security and Diet Quality

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, along with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, introduced the bipartisan SNAP Nutrition Security Act, legislation that would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to prioritize, measure and improve diet quality and nutrition security in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), especially for children.

Diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, with half of U.S. adults having prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, and 3 in 4 being overweight or obese.

Poor diet and obesity are estimated to account for as much as 30 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S., creating a heavy burden for individuals and society, negatively impacting quality of life, increasing health care costs, reducing productivity, and impacting military readiness, the Senators noted when introducing the bill.

The leading risk factor for chronic disease development is poor nutrition and the economic cost of nutrition-related chronic diseases has been estimated at $16 trillion over the period from 2011 to 2020.

SNAP is the largest food safety net program and provides food assistance to low-income families, helping to reduce poverty and food insecurity.

However, less is known about SNAP’s impact on improving nutrition security, defined as consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, affordable foods essential to optimal health and wellbeing.

Nutrition security builds on food security by emphasizing the coexistence of hunger and diet-related chronic disease that disproportionately impacts Americans with low incomes.

Nutrition security focuses on access to nutritious food, where food security focuses on access to all foods. Both food and nutrition security are critical, complementary measures for understanding SNAP’s impact, identifying ways to mitigate hunger and malnutrition, and improving access to healthy food to mitigate chronic disease disparities.

“SNAP plays a crucial role in alleviating poverty and food insecurity, but needs to do better at improving nutrition security and diet quality for program participants,” Booker said in a statement.

 “We need timely, comprehensive data to determine SNAP’s impact on nutrition security and diet quality in order to effectively promote access to nutritious food, improve the well-being of SNAP recipients, and help address our nation’s alarming increase in chronic diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” he added.

The USDA currently monitors the extent and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households.

This legislation would add nutrition security to USDA’s existing and annual reporting which will generate, for the first time, data needed to determine how SNAP impacts nutrition security, and therefore could improve access to nutritious food and the health and wellbeing of SNAP recipients.

Understanding and strengthening the positive impact of SNAP also requires more regular data collection. The bill requires a nationally- and state-representative SNAP sales report every four years.

Sales data would be de-identified and reported in the aggregate to protect the identity of both SNAP participants and retailers.

This report would give insight into affordability of foods, the timing of purchases within a monthly benefit issuance cycle, and the types of products typically purchased. Knowing when certain foods are purchased and what type of food is being purchased will help improve ways that SNAP can advance food and nutrition security.

USDA produced a similar study in 2016.

Specifically, the SNAP Nutrition Security Act of 2023 would:

  • Require USDA to measure and annually report on nutrition security and diet quality, as USDA currently does for food security.
  • Add food and nutrition security reporting to annual state SNAP-Ed reports, which will help states determine how they can improve food and nutrition security.
  • Collect and report aggregate (de-identified) nationally- and state-representative SNAP food sales data.
  • Add improving nutrition security and diet quality to Congress’s declaration of policy for SNAP, which provides Congressional direction for the program and establishes USDA goals.
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      • They’re not saying anything solid, just ‘we agree that junk food is not so good etc.’
        Let’s hear something clear and to the point!!!
        The point is that they can’t have anyone too healthy, otherwise the $3.8 trillion per-year-in-the-US-alone medical industry — which is 20% of the GDP would suffer!!!
        It’s the Junk Food and Drug Addiction Administration, in case you didn’t know.

  1. I never understood why there in juice on it. Oh & non of the healthier options only the sugar loaded ones. Also why they don’t have protein on snap.

    • This is all tied to the Ag bill and the USDA. Most of the items covered receive subsidies for their production. HFCS is a subsidized commodity included as an ingredient in many qualifying food items.

      • And HFCS is the worst of the worst sugars!!! Good business for the super-billionaire investors – who invest in A) Bog Junk Food and then in Bog Pharma (in that order) — they’re laughing all the way to the bank — at the expense of people’s suffering and life and limb.
        Yemach Shemam

    • snap is food stamps You can purchase almost any food, including protein!! (perhaps you are mistaking it with
      wic program that focuses on specific foods)

    • To answer to ‘Leave our atmosphere alone’, there was a major article in news media, about five years ago, that indeed, a particular group that gives recommendations to WIC, has suggested that juice be eliminated or at least reduced.
      A cup of juice contains about the same amount of sugar as a cup of soda, and is unhealthy (you can dilute with water).
      Whole fruit is healthy, as the pulp helps the body deal with the sugar. However, juice is the sugar only.
      Also, when eating whole fruit, one will just eat one or two, so it is meniflaos Haborei (the wonders of the Creator) that one only eats normal amounts of given foods. But with juice, one can end up with much more.

  2. “Nutrition Security” is an other way of saying uncle Sam should pay for poor peoples food [even if they have 42″ high Def TV’s & $100 Air Jordon’s].

    • or own homes. This should only be for the poor children.
      Uncle Sam is not paying for it, the workers are. There are children homeless, or living in a room. This program should be for the poor only. If your living in a nice home or own a home this should not be for them.

  3. or own homes. This should only be for the poor children.
    Uncle Sam is not paying for it, the workers are. There are children homeless, or living in a room. This program should be for the poor only. If your living in a nice home or own a home this should not be for them.

  4. This bill sounds like it’s just going to generate a lot of paperwork for the SNAP office (and associated personnel costs) without actually improving anyone’s diet…

    • You have this condition and still drink soda?!?!?
      Please, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch that stuff! Get nice teas with Stevia – a sweet-tasting herb that naturally has zero calories.

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