Comments: Political Science Professor Shares Insights on COVID Legislative Package and Proposed SNAP Benefits

August 6, 2020
Political Science Professor Tracy Roof, An Expert on the History of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance in the U.S., Weighs in on Current Debate


A proposal to increase benefits provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the current period of high unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the points of disagreement between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration in the negotiations currently taking place on the next pandemic response package. 

 University of Richmond Associate Professor of Political Science Tracy Roof researches the impact of American political institutions on policy development and organized labor's influence on American politics and policy.

An expert on the SNAP program and the history of food stamps, she is currently working on a book project titled, Nutrition, Welfare, or Work Support? A Political History of the Food Stamp Program. 

Roof has been closely following the ongoing political debates around SNAP and offers the following insights:

"One of the items on congressional Democrats' priorities list in the COVID legislative package, which is currently under negotiation, is a temporary 15% increase in benefits in SNAP. Benefits were temporarily raised in the last recession and SNAP spending proved to be one of the most effective government strategies to stimulate the economy and jobs," she explains.

"Overwhelmed food banks are pressing hard for an increase now hoping to reduce demand on their services - a need that may grow as the recession wears on and more families deplete their savings. But Republicans have opposed the increase afraid it will become a backdoor expansion of the welfare state." 


Note: Media wishing to connect with Roof as a resource can contact Lindsey Campbell media relations specialist, at