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Following the Doctor’s Orders: Prescriptions for Change

Based on medical research, C-SNAP offers the following recommendations for improving young children’s health:

  • Many children do not receive the nutrition assistance they need. Funding effective outreach/education activities and simplifying application/recertification procedures will drive this figure up. Confusion, anxiety, and administrative barriers keep many people from receiving benefits.

  • Monthly benefit levels should be raised to equal the cost of a healthy diet, commensurate with the Surgeon General’s most recent nutrition recommendations.

  • Raising the asset cap above the current level ($2,000 in most cases) will allow poor families to save modest amounts of money and begin to accumulate the assets needed to raise themselves out of poverty and off of food stamps.

  • Many parents with limited English are currently deterred from accessing food stamps by language barriers. More interpreters will help to serve America’s diverse population.

The Food Stamp Program has recently made great strides forward in reaching out to more Americans, but further improvement is both possible and necessary. One in five eligible American children is starting at a disadvantage by not receiving the food stamps he or she needs to develop and learn properly. Many of those not yet receiving nutrition assistance are among the most vulnerable groups, such as children of color and citizen children of immigrant parents. America’s children deserve the best chance we can give them to thrive in later life; if they start behind, they will likely remain behind. Supporting the Food Stamp Program is a sound investment in America’s future and in the wellbeing of all of her children.

About C-SNAP

The Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP) is a national network of pediatricians and public health specialists whose focus is:

  • Conducting original, clinical research on children 0-3 years old

  • Facilitating public policies that protect children’s health and development by providing credible evidence to policy-makers and advocates

  • Providing referrals to medical care and other resources for children and food insecure households

C-SNAP’s total sample, gathered over the past decade, includes nearly 24,000 children under age three.

C-SNAP study sites include:

  • Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA

  • Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

  • Mary’s Center for Children, Washington, DC *

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences,

Little Rock, AR

  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA

  • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA *

Dormant sites indicated by *

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