Legislation: Food and Agriculture Act of 1977
September 29,1977
Political

POLITICAL EVENT

In 1977, Bob Dole led the charge to make significant changes to the Food Stamp Program. Working with George McGovern (D-SD), Dole produced a bipartisan solution to two of the main problems associated with food stamps: cumbersome purchase requirements and lax eligibility standards. Prior to 1978, food stamp recipients were required to purchase the stamps -- an average family paying $58 for $130 worth of food stamps. Studies found that this purchase requirement was the single largest barrier to access for needy families. They succeeded in designing a program that eliminated the need for individuals to make a required minimum payment to obtain food stamp coupons – a minimum that many still could not afford. The legislation also enacted provisions that reduced fraud and abuse of the program.