Resource | Research | Food Security
Assessing the Food Security and Diet Quality Impacts of FNS Program Participation

To explore other options for assessing impacts, FNS awarded a contract1 to Abt Associates Inc. to consider the potential for using nonexperimental (survey-based) research designs. The objective of such research would be to provide FNS with new information on: Experiences and satisfaction of participants in FNS programs, and Impacts of program participation on food security, diet quality, and other indicators of household well-being.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Accuracy of SFA Processing of School Lunch Applications – Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) 2005

This is the first of a series of annual reports which will assess the administrative error associated with School Food Authorities’ (SFAs) approval of applications for free and reduced-price school meals. More than 95 percent of students who were approved for benefits on the basis of an application were receiving correct benefits, based on the information in the application files. In school year 2004/05, 3.5 percent of all students who submitted an application for free/reduced-price meal benefits had an administrative error in the processing of their applications (4.2 percent if categorically eligible students are excluded).

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2003

This report is the latest in a series of publications presenting estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participate in the Food Stamp Program. The participation rate – a ratio of the number of participants to the number of people eligible for benefits – is an important measure of program performance. This issue presents food stamp participation rates for States in an average month in fiscal year 2003 and for the previous fiscal year. Nationally, the participation rate among eligible persons increased from 54 percent in fiscal year 2002 to 56 percent in fiscal year 2003.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
A User's Guide to Measures of Food Stamp Program Participation Rates

The Food Stamp Program serves as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net, the first line of the Nation’s defense against hunger, and a powerful tool to improve nutrition among millions of low-income families and individuals. Because the program has such a central role in the national nutrition safety net, there is keen interest in tracking its performance over time and across areas. While there are many aspects to the program’s success, one key performance outcome is the extent to which it reaches the people it is intended to serve. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and other researchers have used a variety of approaches to calculate food stamp participation rates. While different approaches can look similar in concept, the results – for particular States or for the Nation as a whole – can often look quite different. These differences can be confusing for users who seek to describe the success of the Food Stamp Program without becoming experts in statistics and data analysis. This paper provides an overview and comparison of two sets of estimates produced by FNS as indicators of Food Stamp Program performance.

Resource | Research | Study & Evaluation Plan
Study and Evaluation Plan (2005)

The Food and Nutrition Service conducts a variety of studies, evaluations, and related activities that respond to the needs of policy makers and managers and help ensure that nutrition assistance programs achieve their goals effectively. These plans provide short descriptions of projects that have been or will be funded in each fiscal year.

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Nutrition Education: Principles of Sound Impact Evaluation

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is frequently asked, by a variety of nutrition education partners, how it defines a sound impact evaluation. The principles introduced here describe the characteristics of strong impact assessments of nutrition education. They are also consistent with the Government and Performance Results Act and the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance for clear demonstration of program effects.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of Food Stamp Research Grants To Improve Access Through New Technology and Partnerships

Low participation rates among low-income people eligible for food stamp benefits have prompted a number of outreach and public education efforts. In 2002, the Food and Nutrition Service awarded $5 million in grants to community-based organizations in 15 States to investigate how to increase participation among people eligible for food stamp benefits. The evaluation of these grants describes the features and outcomes of these 18 projects.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Making America Stronger: A Profile of the Food Stamp Program

A summary of past research on program operations and outcomes related to the Food Stamp Program.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2004

On average, about 23.9 million people living in 10.3 million households received food stamps in the United States each month in FY 2004. Food stamp households are a diverse group. Because food stamps are available to most low-income households with few resources, regardless of age, disability status, or family structure, recipients represent a broad cross-section of the nation's poor. This report provides information about the demographic and economic circumstances of food stamp households. Annual quality control data used to produce this report can be found using the link below.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
State Food Stamp Participation Rates for the Working Poor in 2002

An important measure of the Food Stamp Program’s performance is its ability to reach the people it is meant to serve. This report presents estimates of the food stamp participation rate among eligible working poor persons in each State. Working poor persons are defined as individuals living in house holds in which at least one member had earnings from a job. The participation rates are presented for an average month in fiscal year 2002 and the two previous fiscal years. These estimates can be compared to the State food stamp participation rates previously released for all eligible individuals in Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2002 (March 2005).