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Article

“Now I Feel a Little Bit More Secure”: The Impact of SNAP Enrollment on Older Adult SSI Recipients

1
School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
2
MSW Program, School of Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA
3
Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
4
Center for Vulnerable Populations, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
5
School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
6
School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sareen Gropper and Gordon I. Smith
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4362; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124362
Received: 23 October 2021 / Revised: 24 November 2021 / Accepted: 2 December 2021 / Published: 4 December 2021
In June 2019, California expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries for the first time. This research assesses the experience and impact of new SNAP enrollment among older adult SSI recipients, a population characterized by social and economic precarity. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 20 SNAP participants to explore their experiences with new SNAP benefits. Following initial coding, member-check groups allowed for participants to provide feedback on preliminary data analysis. Findings demonstrate that SNAP enrollment improved participants’ access to nutritious foods of their choice, contributed to overall budgets, eased mental distress resulting from poverty, and reduced labor spent accessing food. For some participants, SNAP benefit amounts were too low to make any noticeable impact. For many participants, SNAP receipt was associated with stigma, which some considered to be a social “cost” of poverty. Increased benefit may be derived from pairing SNAP with other public benefits. Together, the impacts of and barriers to effective use of SNAP benefits gleaned from this study deepen our understanding of individual- and neighborhood-level factors driving health inequities among low-income, disabled people experiencing food insecurity and SNAP recipients. View Full-Text
Keywords: SNAP; food insecurity; poverty; social determinants of health; qualitative research SNAP; food insecurity; poverty; social determinants of health; qualitative research
MDPI and ACS Style

Savin, K.; Morales, A.; Levi, R.; Alvarez, D.; Seligman, H. “Now I Feel a Little Bit More Secure”: The Impact of SNAP Enrollment on Older Adult SSI Recipients. Nutrients 2021, 13, 4362. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124362

AMA Style

Savin K, Morales A, Levi R, Alvarez D, Seligman H. “Now I Feel a Little Bit More Secure”: The Impact of SNAP Enrollment on Older Adult SSI Recipients. Nutrients. 2021; 13(12):4362. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124362

Chicago/Turabian Style

Savin, Katie, Alena Morales, Ronli Levi, Dora Alvarez, and Hilary Seligman. 2021. "“Now I Feel a Little Bit More Secure”: The Impact of SNAP Enrollment on Older Adult SSI Recipients" Nutrients 13, no. 12: 4362. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124362

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