To make qualifying for food stamps easier and more consistent, in 1977, food stamp eligibility was linked to the federal poverty level — a move made possible by statistician Mollie Orshansky. Orshansky had proposed a formula to measure poverty based on the estimated cost of a minimum nutritious diet, arguing that any household whose income was less than three times the cost of that diet should be classified as “poor.” Eventually, the government began incorporating her “measure of poverty” into the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as well.
Galleries & Exhibits
- 11865-1925: Hunger in the Industrial City
- 21929-1940: America in Crisis and Recovery
- 31945-1965: WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
- 41955-1980: The Fight for the Right to Food
- 51975-1996: The Unmaking of the Great Society
- 61997-Present: How It Is — And How It Should Be