SNAP series

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the country's biggest federal food aid vehicle and makes up about 80 percent of the farm bill, which Congress is looking to renew this year. Harvest Public Media dug in to find out what the challenges are for recipients and the ways in which the program might be changing.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Two women wheel a grocery cart across the parking lot to a white van, open the door and shove kids’ toys out of the way.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media file photo

In the small city of Fort Morgan, Colorado, 33-year-old Verónica delicately stacks cans of food into her mini shopping cart, strolling the narrow aisles of the Rising Up food pantry to gather eggs, milk, apples and an extra-large box of cereal.

Heartland Alliance

It’s a challenge for people with severe mental illnesses to hold down a job or get the medical help they need. And that extends to when they try to alleviate hunger by getting on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Erica Galvan (right) found a better job and is set to not receive SNAP after enrolling in a Nebraska job-training program being overseen by case manager Michaela Funkhouser (left). The program is similar to what Congressional Republicans are pushing.
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

There’s a Republican-authored proposal in the next farm bill that would require millions more people to work or volunteer in order to receive federal food assistance.

Erica Hunzinger / Harvest Public Media

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the biggest federal program aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty that millions of Americans find themselves in — sometimes for a few months, sometimes for several years.