Food Stamps

Food stamps were first issued in the United States in 1939 and lasted until the food surpluses and hardship from unemployment that prompted them diminished. Similar purposes justified the Food Stamp Program (FSP) enacted by Congress at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. This legislation made permanent a pilot program authorized by Congress and ordered by President John F. Kennedy. By 1977, the FSP evolved into a nationwide entitlement program and eliminated a requirement that recipients pay for a portion of their food stamps based on household income. As an entitlement funded by the federal government, the FSP became an effective countercyclical tool responding to downturns in the economy. It automatically curtails hardship due to unemployment and is an especially effective economic stimulus ...

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