Melanie Olmstead

Food for Thought: What the SNAP Cuts Mean for Students and Schools

Research shows that students with access to good nutrition have higher school attendance records, are better able to focus, and are consistently more engaged than students with poor nutrition. Even so, Congress approved and President Obama signed a farm bill reauthorization that cuts funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

ASCD's most recent issue of Policy Points (PDF) explores how the $8.6 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years could affect the nation's students and make them even more reliant on school meal programs. The publication also details nutrition's influence on learning, explains the farm bill provisions related to school nutrition programs, and includes an infographic of up-to-date SNAP statistics.

As the publication concludes, the federal government must recognize the clear relationship between income inequality and academic achievement, and consider how nutrition aid programs can be used to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. Read Policy Points and the corresponding SNAP By The Numbers infographic (PDF) for more information on this crucial issue.


ASCD Policy Points is an ASCD Educator Advocates resource that spotlights timely education policy issues of importance to all educators. Future editions may illuminate education issues on which you can take action and will include links to useful resources, infographics, and tips for increasing your influence with policymakers and other education stakeholders.

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