SNAP began as the Food Stamp Program, ..

The history of food stamps is too often missing in these debates. In the early 1960s a series of studies showed that hunger and malnutrition were pervasive in poor regions of the country. Doctors reported high rates of anemia in infants, stunted growth and low hemoglobin levels in children, and pregnant women suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Prompted by these findings, national public figures addressed the question: What can we do about hunger and malnutrition in our nation? That question motivated President Lyndon B. Johnson and his administration to oversee the Food Stamp Act of 1964, legislation that built on food assistance programs established during the Great Depression. In his statement upon signing the legislation, Johnson declared that in a nation like ours, with abundant food, no child should go hungry. With the right amount of cooperation between state and federal governments, hunger was a problem that could be solved.

Check out Daniel Bowman Simon's fascinating piece about the history of food stamps

This article will discuss the history of food stamps and gardening as well as current efforts to raise awareness and develop resources to facilitate gardening with SNAP benefits, particularly in urban areas. Because gardeners tend to be the best advocates for gardening, this article will also highlight the role that urban community gardens and community gardeners can play in cultivating awareness and providing support.

the principal author of the Food Stamp Act of 1964

The History of Food Stamps I came to graduate school at Penn State to take advantage of the unique dual-degree doctoral program in History and Women's Studies. I knew I was interested in researching gender, politics, and power relations and took a course on "Gender and Welfare" taught by Jennifer Mittelstadt (now at Rutgers) my first semester here. I've always had an interest in food and physique, so I began to research the history of food stamps in the U.S. I was surprised at how much was at stake in this understudied program: issues of families, consumption, poverty, and state-citizen relations. This research became the focus of my Master's degree, and then an article in the Journal of American History (".")

Time Magazine: Food Stamps, A Brief History

History of Food Stamps and SNAP