Source: Short history of SNAP

The idea for the first FSP is credited to various people, most notably Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and the program’s first Administrator Milo Perkins. The program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures; for every $1 worth of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food; blue stamps could only be used to buy food determined by the Department to be surplus.

Over the course of nearly 4 years, the first FSP reached approximately 20 million people at one time or another in nearly half of the counties in the U.S.–peak participation was 4 million–at a total cost of $262 million. The first recipient was Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York; the first retailer to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo; and the first retailer caught violating the program was Nick Salzano in October 1939. The program ended “since the conditions that brought the program into being–unmarketable food surpluses and widespread unemployment–no longer existed.”


  • The current policies and laws used reduce bureaucracy and solve poverty have not done so
  • After Texas failed experiment to privatize food stamps the federal government is warning other states to avoid such mistakes



  • Allow Texas families to use food stamps to buy diapers, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc


Texas Tribune – In State Contracting, Failure is an Option

Texas HHSC – 2015 Monthly SNAP Cases & Recipients Statewide

FORBES – India’s Basic Income, Or, Let’s Abolish Food Stamps And Make Everyone Richer

Bill Moyers – The Gap Between SNAP and Basic Economic Security

Food stamps work rule to begin again in 23 counties

Washington Post – Block granting SNAP (food stamps) would break a crucial anti-poverty program

Baylor University – School Breakfast Participation on the Rise in Texas

The Nation – Why Is It So Controversial to Help Poor Mothers Afford Diapers?

The Nation – Want to Cut Welfare? There’s an App for That.

Huffington Post – 10 Things You Can’t Buy With Food Stamps

CBPP – Policy Considerations Relating to Privatization in the Food Stamp Program

Truth Out – Food Stamp Outage Highlights Problems With Privatization of Public Services

Daily Kos – Ah, privatization: Texas provides case study of failure

Statesman – Feds to states: Don’t privatize food stamps

CPPP – Texas Health and Human Services Commission Sued for Failure to Meet Federal Food Stamp Timeliness Guidelines

Bloomberg – When electronic food stamps fail who foots the bill

Governing – How Texas Conquered Food Stamp Apps

PBS – A food stamps success story

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