Being able to eat good food is fundamental to our wellbeing. Food nourishes us, reflects our families and cultures, and brings us together in community. The Public Health Law Center supports policy change designed to make healthy, tasty, culturally relevant foods easy to grow, get, make, and eat, for everyone.


Map that shares states that have opted out of the federal SNAP Ban

State Laws Restricting Access to SNAP—Interactive Map

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a state administered federal program that provides monthly food benefits to many low-income people (including children and seniors) and families to help supplement their grocery budgets. A 1996 federal law banned many people with drug-related felony convictions from receiving SNAP benefits for their lifetimes (see 21. U.S.C. § 862a) but allowed states to opt out of or modify the ban. Just over half the states have opted out but many still have partial bans. These bans affect the ability of otherwise eligible people—and in some cases, their families—to receive food assistance through SNAP. These bans contribute to hunger and poor nutrition for millions of people.

Review the SNAP Ban legislation in any given state



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    Teens Gardening

    Equity and Inclusion in Public Health Laws

    This resource offers guidance on how to use the Five Essential Public Health Law Services Framework to address racism and other social determinants of health in the public health sector.

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    Mother holding a smiling baby

    Policies and Laws in Support of Breastfeeding in Bemidji Area American Indian Communities

    This report highlights how Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban American Indian health centers in the Great Lakes Area are using law and policy to support and protect breastfeeding within and for their communities.

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    Increasing Access to Healthy Food: Linking Planning Goals & Implementation Actions

    This resource links specific local plan goals with implementation actions that can be used to support healthy eating priorities. Communities can draw from these examples to identify partners and concrete actions to increase healthy eating and related active transportation efforts.

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