Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 1999

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) provides millions of Americans with the means to purchase food for a nutritious diet. The FSP is the largest of the 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In an average month in fiscal year 1999, the FSP served approximately 18.2 million people. This report presents the characteristics of food stamp households nationwide in fiscal year 1999 (October 1998 to September 1999). This information on household characteristics comes from FSP household data for fiscal year 1999 collected by FNS for quality control purposes. Appendix J: Data Collection Instrument not included. Annual quality control data used to produce this report can be found using the link below.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
School Meals Initiative Implementation Study: First Year Report

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are central parts of a national policy designed to safeguard the nutritional well-being of the Nation’s children. The programs are administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), operating through State agencies (SAs) that have agreements with the local school systems in their States. Despite the progress that has been achieved over the years in enhancing the quality of school meals, results of research conducted in the early 1990s indicated that school meals, on balance, were not meeting certain key nutritional goals. In late 1993, the USDA launched a far-reaching reform of the school meals programs, a reform aimed at upgrading the nutritional content of school meals. The several elements of this reform are collectively referred to as the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI), the principal subject of this report.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Trends in the FSP Participation Rates: Focus on 1994 to 1998

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) helps needy families purchase food so that they can maintain a nutritious diet. Families are eligible for the program if their financial resources fall below certain income and asset thresholds. However, not all eligible families participate in the program. Some choose not to, while others do not know they are eligible. The participation rate—the ratio of the number of participants to the number of eligibles—reveals the degree to which eligible families participate. This report concentrates on trends in the participation rates since 1994. It focuses on trends in the rates before and after welfare reform, and throughout much of the economic expansion of the 1990s.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Dietary Intake and Dietary Attitudes Among Food Stamp Participants and Other Low-Income Individuals

This report examines the dietary knowledge and attitudes of low-income individuals, including FSP participants and nonparticipants, describes their dietary intake, and estimates participation-dietary intake relationship. In particular, the analysis addresses three basic questions: What do low-income adults know about healthy eating practices, and how do they feel about these practices and about their own diets? What do low-income Americans eat, and how do their diets stack up against accepted standards for healthy eating? What is the relationship between food stamp participation and dietary intake among low-income individuals and do differences in the dietary knowledge and attitudes among participants and low-income nonparticipants mediate this relationship?

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Study of Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program

The NSLP offers free and reduced-price school meals to students from eligible households. Households with incomes at or below 130 percent of poverty are eligible for free meals, and households with incomes between 131 percent and 185 percent of poverty are eligible for reduced-price meals. Traditionally, to receive these benefits, households had to complete and submit application forms to schools or be directly certified. Direct certification, on the other hand, is a method of eligibility determination that does not require families to complete school meal applications. Instead, school officials use documentation from the local or state welfare agency that indicates that a household participates in AFDC or food stamps as the basis for certifying students for free school meals.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: Food Stamp Participation Rates in the States

This is the second report in a series of publications that presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participate in the Food Stamp Program. This issue presents food stamp participation rates for States in September 1997 and the changes in State rates between September 1994 and September 1997. This information can be used to examine States’ performance over this period and help understand the effects on food stamp participation rates of a strong economy with expanding job opportunities and the very early consequences of welfare reform and food stamp changes that were brought about by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
WIC Program and Participants Characteristics, 1998

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The WIC Program provides a combination of direct nutritional supplementation, nutrition education and counseling, and increased access to health care and social service providers for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women; infants; and children up to the age of five years. WIC seeks to improve fetal development and reduce the incidence of low birthweight, short gestation, and anemia through intervention during the prenatal period. Infants and children who are at nutritional or health risk receive food supplements, nutrition education, and access to health care services to maintain and improve their health and development.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Food Stamp Nutrition Education Study

The purpose of this study is to provide FNS with descriptive information about how States have elected to provide nutrition education and information to food stamp recipients and eligibles.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Guide to Measuring Household Food Security (Revised 2000)

This new edition of the Guide documents minor corrections and changes, bringing the procedures described in the original publication up to date.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: An Update

Food stamps are intended for food. When individuals sell their benefits for cash it violates the spirit and intent of the Food Stamp Program as well as the law. This practice, known as trafficking, diverts food stamps away from their purpose. It reduces intended nutritional benefits and undermines public perceptions of the integrity and utility of the program. A crucial question, therefore, is the extent to which trafficking exists. Several years ago, a method to calculate data-based estimates of the prevalence of trafficking was developed by USDA. The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program used this method to analyze over 11,000 completed undercover investigations of trafficking and gene rate an estimate for calendar year 1993. This report duplicates the precise methodology of the earlier analysis with more than 10,000 new investigations to generate an estimate for the 1996 - 1998 calendar year period.