Case Studies

Sandeep is a social worker at a Department of Social Services in a small southern town. His social work practice involves establishing people’s eligibility for a food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Enrollment in the program has increased over the last year due to an increase in unemployment and an overall sluggish economy. The average monthly benefit is approximately US$133.19.

Sandeep doesn’t know the history of the nation’s food stamp program. He’s interested in when and why the program was created, how eligibility criteria were established, and how the formula for monthly benefit is determined. Even more pressing, Sandeep wants to advocate against proposed cuts in the SNAP.

  1. How would you assist Sandeep in locating the information he’s interested in knowing?
  2. How does a general understanding of the nation’s social welfare system guide your thinking about the SNAP and proposed budget reductions?
  3. What are some ways that Sandeep would advocate against proposed cuts in the SNAP? Where would he concentrate his efforts?
  4. What information would be most helpful for Sandeep to gather in order to make his case?
  5. How much is your family’s monthly grocery bill? What would US$133.19 per month cover in your community?