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Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

Population Health Research Brief Series

Consistent SNAP Participation Increases Preventative Health Care Visits for Infants

Colleen Heflin, Irma Arteaga, Julia Stafford

November 2021

Food insecurity in families with children has increased dramatically during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Not only is food insecurity a problem on its own, but it is linked to receiving less preventative medical care in the first year of life—including well-child visits and recommended vaccinations.

This brief summarizes findings from research examining the connection between SNAP participation and preventative care in an infant’s first year of life in Missouri. Findings show that infants in households that receive unstable SNAP benefits have a lower likelihood of attending all their well-child visits and receiving routine immunizations. Policymakers should consider interventions to simplify the SNAP recertification process and increase the stability of SNAP participation to help mothers and their infants access preventative health care and immunizations.

Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health