Food and Nutrition Programs

The nutrition programs of the federal government include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp program) and various child nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC). CBO projects spending for those programs under current law, estimates the budgetary cost of legislative proposals, and analyzes policy options and issues related to the programs.

  • Report February 11, 2013

    During the past 40 years, federal spending for major means-tested programs and tax credits for low-income households more than tripled as a share of gross domestic product. In 2012, such spending totaled $588 billion.

  • Report April 19, 2012

    One in seven U.S. residents received benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2011, at a total cost of $78 billion. Spending on SNAP benefits more than doubled between 2007 and 2011.