Policy Basics: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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The right to continue breastfeeding a child after returning to work is important since duration of leave entitlements generally is shorter than the WHO recommended duration of exclusive and continued breastfeeding. Vitamin A deficiency also contributes to maternal mortality and other poor outcomes of pregnancy and lactation. The document is intended for use by health professionals to assess the likelihood of inadequate intake in individuals or groups of people. It occurs most frequently in areas where there is little iodine in the diet—typically remote inland areas where no marine foods are eaten. Infant Feeding Guidelines The Infant Feeding Guidelines provide health workers with the latest information on healthy feeding from birth to approximately 2 years of age.

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This report reveals that, after several years of decline, the national food hardship rate for all households increased from These programs are administered at the federal level by the U. Department of Agriculture USDA , and in each state typically through the department of education, health, or agriculture.

Subscribe to the Meals Matter: Benefits of the Afterschool Nutrition Programs The Afterschool Nutrition Programs provide federal funding to serve nutritious meals and snacks to children at sites that offer educational and enrichment programming.

They also operate through the National School Lunch Program, which allows schools to provide a snack after school. Meals and snacks can be served to children up to age 18 and 19 if their birthday is during the school year at sites offering educational and enrichment activities, such as schools, recreation centers, YMCAs, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Extended-day schools that run for an additional hour or more also may be eligible.

Sites generally qualify if they are located in a low-income area. Find out about reimbursement rates for meals and snacks. The new nutrition standards go into effect in October Now is the time to move toward those new standards. Learn more about additional steps that can help build high quality afterschool nutrition programs and incorporating local foods into afterschool meal and snack programs. Strategies to Expand the Afterschool Nutrition Programs Building a stronger sustainable program, improved policies, and expanded partnerships with national, state, and local stakeholders are key strategies to increasing participation in the Afterschool Meal Program.

Find out how to develop a more sustainable Afterschool Meal Program. Serving Afterschool Meals and Snacks in Rural Communities The Afterschool Nutrition Programs fill the hunger gap that exists after school for millions of low-income children in rural communities. A weak nutrition component in the document does not necessarily imply that no government department is working to improve nutrition ; however, unless such efforts are mentioned in strategy documents like PRSPs, they may not be sufficiently sustainable or be scaled-up to adequately address nutrition problems in the country.

Basing such action in frameworks for overall development contributes to ensuring the accountability of relevant government departments. Sources and further reading. Poverty reduction strategy papers. Assessing countries' commitment to accelerate nutrition action demonstrated in poverty reduction strategy paper, UNDAF and through nutrition governance.

SCN News , , Shekar M, Lee Y-K. Mainstreaming nutrition in poverty reduction strategy papers: What does it take? A review of the early experience. Health, Nutrition and Population Discussion Paper, Landscape analysis on countries' readiness to accelerate action in nutrition , This indicator is a description of the strengths and weaknesses of various aspects of nutrition governance in countries.

The following 10 elements or characteristics are used to assess and describe the strength of nutrition governance: These elements were identified by countries as key elements for successful development and implementation of national nutrition policies and strategies during a review of the progress of countries in implementing the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition adopted by the International Conference on Nutrition, the first intergovernmental conference on nutrition Nishida et al.

The components of the composite indicator have been identified by countries as important for determining the completeness of national nutrition plans and policies Nishida, Mutru, Imperial Laue , For instance, a national nutrition plan and policy was considered to provide the political basis for initiating action. In many countries, official government endorsement or adoption of a national nutrition plan or policy facilitated its implementation. The role of an intersectoral coordinating committee in implementing national nutrition plans and policies was also considered crucial, although the nature i.

Another important element was considered to be regular surveys and other means of collecting data on nutrition. A periodically updated national nutrition information system and routinely collected data on food and nutrition were considered important for evaluating the effectiveness of national nutrition plans and policies and identifying subsequent actions.

Strategies for effective and sustainable national nutrition plans and policies. Modern aspects of nutrition , present knowledge and future perspective. Basel , Karger Forum for Nutrition 56 , This indicates whether a government has adopted legislation to monitor and enforce the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which helps create an environment that enables mothers to make the best possible feeding choice, based on impartial information and free of commercial influences, and to be fully supported in doing so.

This indicator is defined on the basis of whether a government has adopted legislation for effective national implementation and monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The Code is a set of recommendations to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats. The Code aims to contribute "to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution" Article 1.

Improper marketing and promotion of food products that compete with breastfeeding often negatively affect the choice and ability of a mother to breastfeed her infant optimally. The Code was formulated in response to the realization that such marketing resulted in poor infant feeding practices, which negatively affect the growth, health and development of children and are a major cause of mortality in infants and young children.

Breastfeeding practices worldwide are not yet optimal, in both developing and developed countries, especially for exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months of age. In addition to the risks posed by the lack of the protective qualities of breast milk, breast-milk substitutes and feeding bottles are associated with a high risk for contamination that can lead to life-threatening infections in young infants. Infant formula is not a sterile product, and it may carry germs that can cause fatal illnesses.

Artificial feeding is expensive, requires clean water, the ability of the mother or caregiver to read and comply with mixing instructions and a minimum standard of overall household hygiene.

These factors are not present in many households in the world. Frequently asked questions , These indicators provide information on national policies for legal entitlement to maternity protection, including leave from work during pregnancy and after birth, as well breastfeeding entitlements after return to work.

Since the International Labour Organization ILO was founded in , international labour standards have been established to provide maternity protection for women workers. Key elements of maternity protection include: The right to cash benefits during absence for maternity leave is intended to ensure that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living.

The source of benefits is important due to potential discrimination in the labour market if employers have to bear the full costs. The right to continue breastfeeding a child after returning to work is important since duration of leave entitlements generally is shorter than the WHO recommended duration of exclusive and continued breastfeeding.

A composite indicator on maternity protection is included as a policy environment and capacity indicator in the core set of indicators for the Global Nutrition Monitoring Framework. It currently uses the ILO classification of compliance with Convention on three key provisions leave duration, remuneration and source of cash benefits , but an alternative method taking into account higher standards as stated in Recommendation as well as breastfeeding entitlements is under development.

The ILO periodically publishes information on the above key indicators, including the assessment of compliance with Convention No. However, an alternative method is under development which may use a scale to indicate the degree of compliance is under development. This method will also take into account higher standards for leave duration and remuneration in Recommendation , as well as breastfeeding entitlements within both the Convention and Recommendation.

Pregnancy and maternity are potentially vulnerable time for working women and their families. Expectant and nursing mothers require special protection to prevent any potential adverse effects for them and their infants.

They need adequate time to give birth, to recover from delivery process, and to nurse their children. At the same time, they also require income security and protection to ensure that they will not suffer from income loss or lose their job because of pregnancy or maternity leave.

Such protection not only ensures a woman's equal access and right to employment, it also ensures economic sustainability for the well-being of the family. Returning to work after maternity leave has been identified as a significant cause for never starting breastfeeding, early cessation of breastfeeding and lack of exclusive breastfeeding. In most low- and middle-income countries, paid maternity leave is limited to formal sector employment or is not always provided in practice.

The ILO estimates that more than million women lack economic security around childbirth with adverse effects on the health, nutrition and well-being of mothers and their children. Maternity cash benefits for workers in the informal economy. Rollins et al Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? Database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation.

The legislative data are collected by ILO through periodical reviews of national labour and social security legislation and secondary sources, such as the International Social Security Association and International Network on Leave Policies and Research; as well as consultations with ILO experts in regional and national ILO offices around the world.

The composite indicator on maternity protection included in the Global Nutrition Monitoring Framework is currently defined as whether the country has maternity protection laws or regulations in place compliant with the provisions for leave duration, remuneration and source of cash benefits in Convention Documentation for the maternity protection database http: Degree training in nutrition exists. What does the indicator tell us?

This indicator reflects the capacity of a country to train professionals in nutrition in terms of having national higher education institutions offering training in nutrition. This indicator is defined as the existence of higher education institutions offering training in nutrition in the country.

Higher education training institutions include universities and other schools offering graduate and post-graduate degrees in nutrition or dietetics, including public health nutrition, community nutrition, food and nutrition policy, clinical nutrition, nutrition science and epidemiology.

Trained nutrition professionals work at facilities including health facilities as well as at population and community levels and may influence nutrition policies, and designing and implementation of nutrition intervention programmes at various levels. They also play an important role in training of other health and non-health cadres to plan and deliver nutrition interventions in various settings. It is recognized that availability, within a country, of sufficient workforce with appropriate training in nutrition will lead to better outcomes for country-specific nutrition and health concerns.

A competency framework for global public health nutrition workforce development: World Public Health Nutrition Association. Registering as Registered Nutritionist. Building systemic capacity for nutrition: Nutrition is part of medical curricula. This indicator reflects the inclusion of maternal, infant and young child nutrition in pre-service training of health personnel.

This indicator is defined as the existence of pre-service training in maternal, infant and young child nutrition for health personnel. The survey investigates training in three key areas of maternal, infant and young child nutrition, namely growth monitoring and promotion, breastfeeding and complementary feeding, and management of severe or moderate acute malnutrition. The first two of these three training topics are relevant for all forms of malnutrition, whereas the third topic only pertains to undernutrition.

Training on other topics e. Adequate training of health professionals is essential to ensure that nutrition activities are included in their regular health care activities. Nutrition counseling training changes physician behavior and improves caregiver knowledge acquisition.

Nutrition Journal ; Trained nutrition professionals density. The focus of the nutrition professional indicator is on individuals trained to pursue a nutrition professional career, described in most countries as dieticians or nutritionists including nutrition scientists, nutritional epidemiologists and public health nutritionists.

These individuals are trained sufficiently in nutrition practice to demonstrate defined competencies and to meet certification or registration requirements of national or global nutrition or dietetics professional organizations.

Dieticians and nutritionists may complete the same training and perform the same functions in some countries but not others. This indicator is defined as the number of trained nutrition professionals per , population in the country in a specified year.

Validation of the indicator has shown that it can predict several maternal, infant and young child nutrition outcomes. Global nutrition monitoring framework: Density of nurses and midwi ves. Nurse and midwife density indicates whether nurses and midwifery personnel are available to address the health care needs of a given population.

It is the number of nursing and midwifery personnel and density per 10 population. These personnel include professional nurses, professional midwives, auxiliary nurses, auxiliary midwives, enrolled nurses, enrolled midwives and other personnel, such as dental nurses and primary care nurses. Traditional attendants are not counted here but as community or traditional health workers. There is no gold standard for a sufficient health workforce to address the health care needs of a given population.

It has been estimated, however, that countries with fewer than 25 health-care professionals counting only physicians, nurses and midwives per 10 population fail to achieve adequate coverage rates for selected primary health care interventions that are priorities in the Millennium Development Goals. The World Health Report Working together for health. The World Health Report papers.

G ross domestic product per capita and annual growth rate. GDP per capita purchasing power parity is the GDP divided by the midyear population, where GDP is the total value of goods and services for final use produced by resident producers in an economy, regardless of the allocation to domestic and foreign claims.

It does not include deductions for depreciation of physical capital or depletion and degradation of natural resources.

Purchasing power parity indicates the rate of exchange that accounts for price differences across countries, allowing international comparisons of real output and incomes. Purchasing power parity rates allow standard comparisons of real prices among countries, just as conventional price indexes allow comparisons of real values over time; use of normal exchange rates could result in over - or undervaluation of purchasing power.

GDP per capita annual growth rate is defined as the least squares annual growth rate, calculated from constant price GDP per capita in local currency units. Higher income is usually associated with lower rates of mal nutrition. Improving income however, reduces mal nutrition to only a small degree World Bank On the basis of the correlation between growth and nutrition , it is estimated that a sustained per capita economic growth of 2.

These estimates suggest that countries cannot depend on economic growth alone to reduce mal nutrition within an acceptable time.

Repositioning nutrition as central to development. A strategy for large-scale action , Human solidarity in a divided world , Official development assistance received net disbursements as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product GDP is a measure of the flow of aid, private capital and debt in comparison with the value of goods and services produced within the country.

This indicator is official development assistance received as a percentage of the GDP. Net official development assistance consists of grants or loans to countries or territories from the official sector, with the main objective of promoting economic development and welfare, at concessional financial terms.

GDP is the total value of final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a year, regardless of ownership. When official development assistance makes up a large proportion of the GDP, a country is highly aid dependent, with the risk of unpredictable aid and donor-driven aid programmes. This can affect the resources allocated to nutrition , which are often not a donor priority in the sector-wide aid strategies promoted by the Paris Declaration Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness: This indicator identifies countries with low income and food inadequacy.

A country is classified by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO as 'low-income food-deficit' for analytical purposes on the basis of low income and food inadequacy, and the status is agreed by the country itself.

The classification applies to countries that have a per capita income below the ceiling used by the World Bank to determine eligibility for International Development Association assistance and for year terms determined by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, applied to countries included in World Bank categories I and II.

The second criterion is based on the net i. Trade volumes of a broad range of basic foodstuffs cereals, roots and tubers, pulses, oilseeds and oils other than tree crop oils, meat and dairy products are converted and aggregated by the calorie content of individual commodities.

The third criterion, which is self-exclusion, is applied when countries that meet the above two criteria specifically request to be excluded from the low-income food-deficit category.

In order to avoid too frequent changes of low-income food-deficit status, usually reflecting short-term, exogenous shocks, an additional factor is taken into consideration. This factor, called 'persistence of position', postpones the 'exit' of a country from the list even if it does not meet the low-income or the food-deficit criterion, until the change in its status is verified for 3 consecutive years. In other words, a country is taken off the list in the fourth year after confirming a sustained improvement in its position.

During these 3 years, the country is considered to be in a transitional phase. The rationale behind the low-income food-deficit classification is that being both food deficit and having a low income at the same time means that the country lacks the resources not only to import food but also to produce sufficient amounts domestically.

It is the combination of these two factors that makes these countries both food insecure and susceptible to domestic and external shocks, which could affect the nutrition al status of vulnerable populations.

The low-income food-deficit list is intended to capture this aspect of the food problem. In comparison with countries in other classifications commonly used for analytical and operational purposes, e. Committee on World Food Security. Rome , June Averaged aggregate governance indicators. The world governance indicators of the World Bank Institute define governance as the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.

This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to formulate and implement sound policies effectively; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them. The world governance indicators measure six broad definitions of governance, capturing the key elements of this definition: The averaged aggregate governance indicators in the NLIS country profile represent the aggregated average of the six world governance indicators.

The indicators represent the views of thousands of stakeholders worldwide, including respondents to household and firm surveys and experts from nongovernmental organizations, public sector agencies and providers of commercial business information.

The NLIS averaged aggregate governance indicators are calculated from the average of the z scores a measure of standard deviations away from the mean of the six world governance indicators. Each of the six indicators are expressed as the standard normal units, ranging from around The higher the score a country has, the better the assessment has it received regarding the six governance elements.

Policy-makers, civil society groups, aid donors and scholars around the world increasingly agree that good governance affects development. This consensus has emerged from a proliferation of empirical measures of institutional quality and governance, the investment climate and research World Bank Institute, For nutrition , the importance of good governance is reflected in the UNICEF conceptual framework of factors in the "control and management of resources influenced by political and ideological structures in society'' Jonsson Good governance is also recognized by countries themselves in the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security FAO as an essential factor for sustained economic growth, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and hunger and the realization of all human rights, including the right to adequate food.

Voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security , Towards an improved strategy for nutrition surveillance. Food and Nutrition Bulletin , United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition. The fifth report on the world nutrition situation: The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Methodology and Analytical Issues September Gender inequality index GII.

The Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: It varies between zero when women and men fare equally and one when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions.

The Gender Inequality Index is designed to reveal the extent to which national human development achievements are eroded by gender inequality, and to provide empirical foundations for policy analysis and advocacy efforts. Low status restricts women's opportunities and freedom, giving them less interaction with others and fewer opportunities for independent behaviour, restricting the transmission of new knowledge and damaging their self-esteem and expression. It is a particularly important determinant of two resources for care: Low status restricts women's capacity to act in their own and their children's best interests.

There is a demonstrated association between women's status and malnutrition in children. Human Development Report Gender and Human Development. Challenges for the 21st century: Gender Parity Index in primary level enrolment.

This indicator of gender equality is also an indicator of Millennium Development Goal 3: The ratio of girls to boys, the gender parity index, in primary education is the ratio of the number of female students enrolled at the primary level of education to the number of male students.

To standardize the effects of the population structure of the appropriate age groups, the gross enrolment ratio for each level of education is used. The gross enrolment ratio is the number of students enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education, regardless of age, as a percentage of the population of official school age for the three levels.

There is a demonstrated association between women's status and mal nutrition in children. United Nations Statistics Division. Millennium Development Goals indicators. Promote gender equality and empower women. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by , and in all levels of education no later than The global hunger index is a means of monitoring whether countries are achieving the hunger-related Millennium Development Goals.

It can be used for international ranking. The global hunger index captures three dimensions of hunger: Accordingly, the index includes three equally weighted indicators: In order to identify countries that are notably better or worse off with regard to hunger and undernutrition than would be expected from their gross national income per capita, a regression analysis is made of the global hunger index on gross national income per capita.

Countries are ranked on a point scale, with 0 and being the best and worst possible scores, respectively. Hunger is one of the world's major problems and therefore one of its most important challenges. Hunger and undernourishment form a vicious circle, which is often 'passed on' from generation to generation: The children of impoverished parents are often born underweight and are less resistant to disease; they grow up under conditions that impair their intellectual capacity for the whole of their life.

As of , FAO estimates that 1. This is the highest number since , the earliest year for which comparable statistics are available. The factors that contribute to a high global hunger index are: Countries with high hunger indexes are overwhelmingly low- or low- to middle-income countries with high levels of poverty.

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the regions with the highest global hunger indexes and the highest poverty rates. These have been major causes of widespread poverty and food insecurity in most countries with high global hunger indexes. The 15 countries with the highest global hunger indexes were consistently rated by the 'Freedom House Index' as non-free or partially free with regard to political rights and civil liberties in the period Low women's status is an important contributor to child malnutrition, which in turn accounts for high global hunger indexes for South Asian countries.

Well-designed, well-implemented health and nutrition services can reduce child malnutrition substantially. Many of the countries with high global hunger indexes, especially in South Asia, do not have effective health and nutrition services that reach the most vulnerable age groups pre-pregnancy through 2 years of age. International Food Policy Research Institute.

International Food Policy Research Institute, Economic crises - impacts and lessons learned. SNAP provides monthly benefits that help fill the gaps for workers with low and inconsistent pay, and can help workers weather periods without a job.

Workers who participate in SNAP most commonly work in service occupations, such as cooks or home health aides, and sales occupations, such as cashiers, which are often jobs with features such as low pay and income volatility. Several features of SNAP make it an effective work support. The SNAP benefit formula contains an important work incentive. For every additional dollar a SNAP recipient earns, her benefits decline gradually, by only 24 to 36 cents. This means, for most SNAP households, the program continues to serve as an income support — making it easier for families to afford food — as they earn more and work toward financial stability and self-sufficiency.

Because SNAP is an entitlement program and it serves all eligible people who apply, participants who lose jobs can apply for SNAP and receive it quickly, and workers who participate do not risk seeing their total income earnings plus SNAP fall if the promise of increased hours or a new, higher-paying job does not come through.

The share of all SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP has also increased — from about 27 percent in to about 32 percent in Most SNAP recipients who can work do so.

The rates are even higher for families with children. About two-thirds of SNAP recipients are not expected to work, primarily because they are children, elderly, or disabled. SNAP enables low-income households to afford more healthy foods. In addition, all states operate SNAP nutrition education programs to help participants make healthy food choices.

Recent research on the nationwide expansion of food stamps in the s and s finds that children born to poor women with access to food stamps had better health outcomes as adults — and girls grew up to be more self-sufficient — than those born in counties that had not yet implemented the program. SNAP acts as a first responder in the wake of natural disasters, providing critical food assistance to vulnerable households.

After disasters, USDA and states work together to provide quick, targeted assistance. Virgin Islands put food on the table. Congress provided additional funds for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Because Puerto Rico receives food assistance in the form of a block grant, disaster funding there was not available without congressional action, as it is in other U.

SNAP and other nutrition programs have helped make severe hunger in America rare. Before the late s, when the federal government began providing nutrition assistance, hunger and severe malnutrition could be found in many low-income communities in the United States. Today, in large part because of these programs, such severe conditions are no longer found in large numbers. To promote efficiency, SNAP has one of the most rigorous quality control systems of any public benefit program.

To promote efficiency and program integrity, SNAP has one of the most rigorous upfront eligibility determination systems of any public benefit program. Households applying for SNAP report their income and other relevant information; a state eligibility worker interviews a household member and verifies the accuracy of the information using data matches, paper documentation from the household, or by contacting a knowledgeable party, such as an employer or landlord.

Households must reapply for benefits periodically, usually every six or 12 months, and between reapplications must report income changes that would affect their eligibility. Federal officials then re-review a subsample of the cases. USDA annually releases state and national payment error rates based on these reviews. States are subject to fiscal penalties if their error rates are persistently above the national average.

This system is among the most extensive of any federal public benefit program. As a result, USDA did not report national or state-level error rates for all states for or Since USDA has conducted detailed reviews in all states and taken action to address the quality and consistency of the measure. SNAP reaches a large share of eligible households. Eighty-three percent of individuals who qualified for SNAP benefits received them in fiscal year This represents a significant improvement from , when the participation rate bottomed out at 54 percent.

Participation among eligible people in low-income working families rose from 40 percent in to about 72 percent in

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