The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formally known as SNAP, was created in 1939 to help Americans who earn little or no money to buy food. In 2008, congressional leaders placed food programs like SNAP in the farm bill. That's when food assistance was seen as a largely urban issue.
The idea was to encourage lawmakers with districts in cities to support rural agriculture. The SNAP map has since shifted. New U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers show SNAP participation is now highest in rural areas.