INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Issue Brief

Missed Opportunities: Lifting Barriers to SNAP Participation Among Eligible Seniors

Title
Missed Opportunities: Lifting Barriers to SNAP Participation Among Eligible Seniors
Date
January 2016
Author(s)
Vanessa Hoffman, MPH, Jennifer Pooler, MPP, Steven Garasky, Ph.D.
Market
Social Programs
Practice Areas
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Integrity
Services
Impact Evaluations
Policy/Program Analysis
Methodologies
Literature Review

Americans aged 60 and over account for nearly 1 in 10 participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly the Food Stamp Program), though less than half of eligible, low-income elderly adults participate in the program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, which administers SNAP, has taken steps in recent years to improve enrollment processes and timeliness and increase access to healthy foods for this population.

As the senior population grows, the demographics of seniors change, and more seniors are “aging in place” there are likely new barriers to SNAP participation that need to be addressed to ultimately curb food insecurity and improve overall health and well-being.

This IMPAQ issue brief summarizes barriers seniors continue to face in participating in SNAP and provides recommendations for improving participation rates.