The food stamp program has gone through several iterations in its history. The original program was started in 1939 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to help Americans struggling with the Great Depression to feed their families. That program ended in 1943. President John F. Kennedy started another pilot program in 1961, but it never gained national footing before ending in 1964.

LBJ Program

The modern-day food stamp program began with the Food Stamp Act of 1964, which was passed under President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Food Stamp Act of 1977 was subsequently passed under President Jimmy Carter. This act expanded the opportunities for participation. The 1977 act fortified eligibility requirements and income guidelines.