Professors Hilary Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Douglas Almond show that children with access to food stamps early in life significantly improves health and economic well-being of recipients later in life. It says:
We find that access to food stamps in utero and in early childhood leads to significant reductions in metabolic syndrome conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes) in adulthood and, for women, increases in economic self-sufficiency (increases in educational attainment, earnings, income, and decreases in welfare participation).
Food stamps are especially helpful when the economy lags.
The food stamp program is especially vital in times of economic downturn or famine, the researchers wrote, since children can be exposed to lower food levels that jeopardize future development. Food stamp enrollment in the United States grew to 15 million households in 2011, according to government figures released Wednesday. The program's growth during and after the Great Recession has come under the scrutiny of budget-cutters in Congress, even as it helps keep millions of Americans out of poverty each year.