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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet by increasing the dollars they have to buy food. With the economic recession in 2008, food prices and unemployment increased, putting a substantial strain on low-income households’ ability to purchase food. In response, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised the maximum SNAP benefit by 13.6 percent, effective April 2009. This study identifies how
spending patterns, such as the rate at which households spend their benefit, changed following the ARRA benefit increase and
analyzes how spending patterns differed across household characteristics, time and States.