During crises like COVID-19, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is an important people-driven economic support. SNAP helps Arizona not only because more households qualify, but because the benefits multiply through food suppliers, their employees, and the state’s economy. Recent analyses by Moody’s and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) find that increasing SNAP benefits by $1 in a weak economy can yield $1.50 to $1.80 in economic activity. Raising the maximum SNAP benefit for the duration of the economic crisis is a smart investment that Congress can take as it shapes the next COVID-19 relief package.
At the same time, authorities in Arizona need to make sure that all eligible and newly eligible participants can enroll in the program. Historically, Arizona’s participation rate has been among the lowest in the country, with less than 3-in-4 qualifying people enrolled in the program. It’s time for state policymakers to lower the barriers to participating in SNAP so more Arizonans can access nutritious food while helping more businesses stay afloat.
The Arizona Center for Economic Progress
3030 N. 3rd St., Suite 650
Phoenix, AZ 85012