SNAP Stories

A collection of stories about the critical support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides families and individuals across the country.

Strong national policies can play an important role in preventing and reducing obesity, including by supporting programs and initiatives that help ensure people have access to healthy, affordable foods. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month. Nearly two-thirds of SNAP participants are children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

StoryCorps and Upworthy produced the stories in this collection with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Alabama

Jennifer Wells-Marshall and Helen Jones

Dr. Jennifer Wells-Marshall tells her friend and colleague, Helen Jones, about receiving SNAP benefits for a period of time when her daughter was young before going on to get her Ph.D.

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Alabama

Andrika Harmon and Kristi Gay

Andrika Harmon talks with Kristi Gay, her nurse home visitor, about how SNAP helps her buy healthy food to support her young family while she is working and finishing college.

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Kansas

Kolia Souza and Brian Johnson

Kolia Souza and her husband, Brian Johnson, share stories about how SNAP helped them during a challenging time in their lives.

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Kansas

Emily and Tim Brown

Husband and wife, Tim and Emily Brown, talk about the short period of time they received SNAP benefits after Tim lost his job.

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Michigan

Jeremy Huffman and Adam Ingrao

Fellow veterans and friends Jeremy Huffman and Adam Ingrao talk about transitioning from the military to their roles as farmers and healthy food advocates supporting families who participate in SNAP.

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Michigan

Max Gage and Catherine Gage

Sixteen-year-old Max and his mother, Catherine Gage, discuss the important role of SNAP in helping their family get the nutrition they need during a difficult time.

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Texas

Shayna Horne and Tiffany Nieto-Gaytan

Shayna Horne tells Tiffany Nieto-Gaytan, a local food bank staff member, about her family’s difficult transition out of the military and how the food bank and SNAP have provided crucial support.

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Texas

Beth Keel and Jovanna Lopez

Best friends Beth Keel and Jovanna Lopez reflect on times in their life when they struggled with food insecurity and how SNAP helped Beth after an injury that left her out of work.

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California

Fresh from the Farmers Market

The Market Match program in California, and similar programs across the country, enable SNAP participants to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market.

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South Carolina

You may think you know what food insecurity looks like, but you haven’t met this family.

Jillian and Wesley Hollingsworth ended up in a tough situation after their kids were born. SNAP helped them temporarily so they could give their kids a healthy start. 

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Vermont

Helping Students Thrive

Access to SNAP and school meals helps kids in Vermont and across the country succeed both in and out of school.

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Washington

Stephanie Land

Stephanie Land fell into poverty after fleeing an abusive relationship. SNAP helped her finish college and provide for her daughter.

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Related

SNAP Participation Rate by State

The percentage of residents participating in SNAP ranges from 6% in Wyoming to 23% in New Mexico.

Visit Interactive

Priority Policy: SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month.

Learn more

Child Food Insecurity Rates by State

Child food insecurity rates range from 9.4% in North Dakota to 26.3% in Mississippi.

Visit Interactive