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More Than Three-Quarters of Americans Believe that Programs Like SNAP and WIC Benefit Society

Contact: Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Senior Advisor Research and Communications


More Than Three-Quarters of Americans Believe that Programs Like SNAP and WIC Benefit Society and Help People Get Back on Their Feet The Root Cause Coalition’s Research Underscores Public Support for Federal Assistance Programs

(Washington D.C.) — Federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program have strong public support and benefit individuals in a multitude of ways, according to new research from The Root Cause Coalition. Perceived benefits from these programs include, for example, helping people get back on their feet, providing an overall benefit to society and improving the physical and mental health of recipients. This is particularly true among parents compared to non-parents. A strong majority also believe that individuals are receiving SNAP due to circumstances out of their control.

“This data makes a strong case for policies that can help support and strengthen federal assistance programs,” said Barbara Petee, President of The Root Cause Coalition. “Additionally, the public understands the multitude of ways that these programs can provide support to individuals who need it.”

Americans believe there are many reasons why people should receive public benefits, such as getting diagnosed with a serious illness or loss of housing due to foreclosure or eviction. Other commonly cited reasons include death of a spouse of family member, being fired from one’s job and having or adopting a child, among other reasons.

Information dissemination about program eligibility is important, too. Most survey takers believe that getting a letter about SNAP eligibility would be helpful and decrease stress levels, while also being an appropriate use of one’s information like name and address.

The survey, conducted on the heels of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, also explored public awareness of this event. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of survey takers say they have not heard anything about the recent White House conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health through the news, social media or from a worker, friend or family member. But, more than nine in 10 Americans who heard about the Conference say that the White House should be prioritizing the issues covered in the recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.


1,000 interviews among adults age 18+ were conducted from November 28-30, 2022 using an online survey. The results were weighted to ensure proportional responses. The Bayesian confidence interval for 1,000 interviews is 3.5, which is roughly equivalent to a margin of error of ±3.1 at the 95% confidence level. The Root Cause Coalition would like to thank Benefits Data Trust for technical assistance with survey development.

Please click here to view the full report.

About The Root Cause Coalition

The Root Cause Coalition Co-founded by AARP Foundation and ProMedica in 2015, The Root Cause Coalition is a non-profit member-driven organization comprised of more than 90 leading health systems, hospital associations, foundations, businesses, national and community nonprofits, health insurers, academic institutions, local governments, and policy centers. Our common goal is to achieve health equity for every American.


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