Voters Agree: We Must Strengthen SNAP
As Congress debates the Farm Bill Save the Children Action Network commissioned a poll from the bipartisan team of Hart Research (D) and New Bridge Strategy (R) to assess voters’ level of support for strengthening and expanding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
1. Voters are adamant that SNAP benefits are too low and should be increased.
When asked to guess the amount the typical SNAP recipient receives per day, survey respondents estimate a median of $20. When told that the typical family of four receives an average of $5.70 per family member per day, 66% of voters say that that amount should be increased. The belief is held across partisan groups: 80% of Democrats, 63% of independents, and 53% of Republicans say benefits should be increased.
2. Members of Congress who vote to cut SNAP benefits risk provoking negative feelings from the voting public, including key elements of the GOP base.
Two in three (67%) voters say they would feel less favorable toward their Member of Congress if he/she voted to cut SNAP benefits. Again, this sentiment crosses partisan lines, with 81% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and 52% of Republicans saying they would feel less favorable.
3. Three factors help explain these strong responses: 1) a pervasive feeling that food prices are a big problem; 2) SNAP touching every stratum of the public; and 3) a wide belief that SNAP is important to help struggling families.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters say that food and grocery prices are a big problem right now, including 58% who call them a very big problem. This makes food prices the most problematic day-to-day cost Americans are facing. Likely related to this is the fact that fully half of voters nationally have some direct or indirect personal experience with SNAP—21% say someone in their household has received SNAP benefits at some point, and another 27% say this applies to someone they know outside of their household.
Given all of this, it makes sense that 85% of voters say the government should be doing more to help families who are struggling to afford food and groceries; this includes a majority of 52% who say the government should do much more.
The public clearly views SNAP as an important element of this—85% say that SNAP is very (61%) or pretty (23%) important when it comes to helping families pay for food when they are facing food insecurity. Three in four (74%) Republicans say SNAP is important, including 71% of Republicans who identify as very conservative.
4. Beyond increasing benefit amounts, voters widely endorse several policy proposals that would strengthen and expand SNAP for recipients.
Large majorities favor everything from reducing paperwork for applicants to the Double Up Food Bucks program that encourages more purchasing of produce.
Full Results & Additional Resources
Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson is likely to join Republican hardliners in supporting cuts to the country's largest anti-hunger program, a decision that could hurt GOP rural candidates in 2024 elections, according to analysts.
Events of recent years have emphasized the health imperative of ensuring the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens, especially our children. Every child deserves a chance to grow, learn and thrive, unburdened by the shackles of hunger. This is a call to action — a plea to Congress to safeguard the future by protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
National Survey Indicates Strong Public Support for Strengthening Food Security Benefits in Farm Bill
“Survey results indicate broad public support for SNAP benefits to help struggling families” July 17, 2023: National survey results released today by Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), and featured by The Hill, spotlight widespread, bipartisan support for increased Supplemental …