A New Jersey EBT card

Food stamps are federal aid payments given to low- or no-income families to assist them with food purchasing. The first food stamp program was implemented under President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 16 May 1939, and it ended with the cessation of unmarketable food surpluses and a decrease of unemployment in the spring of 1943. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Food Stamp Act of 1964, appropriating $500,000,000 a year by 1965 to assist the poor with bringing home food to their tables. Under Ronald Reagan's administration in the early 1980s, the food stamp program experienced cutbacks, implementing eligibility tests, job searches for applicants, and increased disqualification periods for voluntary quitters. During the 1990s, the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) debit card system was invented as a means of using food stamps in the form of a debit card, and it was in use by public welfare programs. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 saw the food stamp program be renamed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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