At our December 14, 2021 Forum on Ending Hunger and Food Insecurity in New York City and the Nation: What Role for SNAP? Lessons from the Pandemic, 50 or so participants completed a poll ranking 10 measures to strengthen SNAP proposed by our panelists. Each proposal was rated from 1 (highest) to 3 (lowest) on importance for ending food insecurity and hunger in New York and, in a second poll, on the feasibility of implementing that proposed change by 2024. Table 1 below shows the results as does the bar graph in Figure 1 further below.

Table 1. Recommended Actions and Ranking of their Importance in Reducing Food Insecurity and Hunger and the Feasibility of Change by 2024 or Sooner

Participants ranked the importance of the proposed change higher (e.g., more were high priority) than the feasibility of change (mean 1.3 for importance vs. 1.7 for feasibility), suggesting that political obstacles will need to be overcome to implement the changes ranked as most important. The three top-ranked proposals on the combined importance and feasibility scores were expediting online enrollment and re-enrollment and waiving burdensome application requirements for SNAP, making additional increases in the minimum SNAP benefit, and facilitating SNAP enrollment for college students. Thus, these three measures could be shared priorities for those seeking to improve SNAP in the coming months. The good news is that recent public discussions about SNAP and the changes in SNAP triggered by the pandemic have generated a list of recommended changes which many food policy advocates believe can play an important role in reducing hunger and food insecurity.

Figure 1. Ranking of 10 Actions to Improve SNAP. Note: 1 = Most important or feasible, 2 = Medium importance or feasibility, 3 = Least importance or feasibility