VOLUME 7 - 2014-2015 - ISSUE 2
7 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 373 (2015).
SNAP TO HEALTHIER EATING: A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK INTO HOW THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) CAN REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS
Note Written By: Rictreli L. Pirtle
SNAP "offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities".' About twenty million dollars of that 200 billion was used to initiate the SNAP pilot programs in certain states, including Massachusetts, to promote healthier eating habits among SNAP recipients.s These programs have focused on providing SNAP recipients with incentives to purchase healthier foods.' The programs have also included ways to increase SNAP recipients' access to healthier eating alternatives. Both SNAP recipients and farmers have benefited from these pilot programs. Many SNAP recipients have been able to access healthier foods. Farmers have been able to sell their goods to SNAP recipients.
The current results of the SNAP pilot programs have shown potential, but additional steps must be taken to realize that potential. First, pilot programs need to be expanded to other states with high obesity rates, such as Kentucky. Second, SNAP pilot programs should restructure the way in which SNAP recipients are able to use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at Farmers' Markets. SNAP recipients should have the opportunity to use their SNAP benefits at all farmers' markets. Third, SNAP pilot programs should not only focus on incentives and access, but also education. This Note will analyze the ACA and its impact on the Medicaid system. It will then analyze the correlation between "food deserts" and obesity and the health care problems that are associated with them.12 It will then compare and contrast the results of the pilot programs in some states that initially participated in the SNAP pilot programs. It will argue that based on these results, SNAP pilot programs have taken the necessary steps to increase healthier eating among SNAP recipients. If states like Kentucky want to reduce the number of health crises experienced by those who receive Medicaid and SNAP, then they should initiate these types of pilot programs. Lastly, it will analyze the proposed 2014 Farm Bill and argue that any decrease in funding for SNAP would be detrimental to the health of SNAP recipients.