Feeding the Needy through Feedback – A Systems Dynamics Analysis of New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


  • Natalya Milian
  • Matthew Dabkowski
  • Jonathan Mellon




SNAP, Categorical Eligibility, Systems Dynamics


Social welfare initiatives in the United States strive to help as many people as possible with limited resources and within budgetary constraints. One such program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially known as food stamps, which provides income to people in need so they can purchase groceries. Although well-intended, critics of SNAP question not only its efficiency but also its efficacy due to its lack of access and inability to provide adequate benefits to its participants (Oliveira et al., 2018). This study models SNAP using systems dynamics, allowing us to examine these concerns and, when warranted, develop potential solutions. Specifically, we leverage the software Vensim to simulate New Jersey’s SNAP. Our findings suggest SNAP should focus its efforts on reaching the eligible population versus the program. These results are not merely academic; they are potentially actionable, as they can be used to reallocate existing funding.


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How to Cite

Milian, N., Dabkowski, M., & Mellon, J. (2023). Feeding the Needy through Feedback – A Systems Dynamics Analysis of New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, 11(1-2), 79-86. https://doi.org/10.37266/ISER.2023v11i1-2.pp79-86

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