Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Assessment of Sponsor Tiering Determinations

The Improper Payments Information Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-300) requires all Federal agencies to calculate the amount of erroneous payments in Federal programs and to periodically conduct detailed assessments of vulnerable program components. This program assessment of the Family Day Care Home (FDCH) component of USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides a national estimate of the share of CACFP family day care homes that are in the wrong reimbursement tier. FDCHs that are misclassified on their tiering levels translate into improper payments because misclassified FDCHs do not receive the appropriate level of reimbursement for the meals and snacks provided to the children. This study also estimates the dollar amount of improper payments attributable to tiering misclassifications of FDCHs.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Analysis of Verification Summary Data School Year 2004-2005 (Corrected)

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 | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: 2002–2005

Trafficking – selling food stamp benefits to food retailers for cash – impedes the mission and compromises the integrity of the Food Stamp Program. While not a cost to the Federal Government, trafficking diverts benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) uses a set of EBT-based administrative tools and undercover investigations to identify and sanction trafficking retailers, and to estimate the extent of trafficking. The estimates of the amount of trafficking, the trafficking rate, and the store violation rate reported here are based on information from almost 33,000 stores subject to administrative or undercover investigation from late 2002 through 2005.

Resource | Research | Study & Evaluation Plan
Study and Evaluation Plan (2006)

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 | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2004

the 2 previous years. This report also presents estimates of State participation rates for eligible “working poor” individuals (persons in households with earnings) over the same period. Although the FSP provides an important support for working families, the working poor have participated at rates that are substantially below those for all eligible persons. The addition of State-by-State information on participation among the working poor enables a comparison of these rates to the overall participation rates. Nationally, the participation rate among all eligible persons was 60 percent in fiscal year 2004. The participation rate for eligible working poor individuals was 51 percent, a significant difference of 9 percentage points.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2005

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) serves low- income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. In almost all States, the Program provides eligible recipients with vouchers that can be used at authorized stores—referred to as vendors. The 46,000 authorized vendors are mostly grocery stores and pharmacies which have signed agreements to follow program rules. In 1991 and 1998, FNS conducted national studies of WIC vendors to determine the extent of vendor violation of program rules. After the 1998 study, FNS issued regulations to correct vendor practices. The 2005 study replicates the 1998 study to determine whether the regulations were effective, and to measure the frequency of vendor violations and the degree to which vendors charge accurate prices for WIC transactions. It also provides data on payment error as required by the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-300).

Resource | Research | Nutrition Education and Promotion
Food Stamp Nutrition Education Systems Review

In the Food Stamp Program, States have the option to provide nutrition education to food stamp recipients and eligible non-participants as part of their administrative operations. The scope of food stamp nutrition education (FSNE) has expanded rapidly since its inception – with the Federal share of costs growing from less than $1 million in 1992 to $228 million in 2004. The goal of FSNE is to provide educational programs that increase, within a limited budget, the likelihood that food stamp recipients make healthy food choices and choose active lifestyles consistent with the most recent advice reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid. Within this general guidance, however, States have the flexibility to design a wide variety of nutrition education initiatives and operate through contracted implementing agencies, local projects and various partner organizations. This report presents a comprehensive and systematic national description of food stamp nutrition education operations in fiscal year (FY) 2004. It also provides a comparison of those operations to the standards of excellence for nutrition education developed as the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Guiding Principles, released by FNS in September 2005.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
An Assessment of the Sustainability of Food Stamp Outreach Projects

Over recent years the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has awarded multiple grants to community and faith-based organizations (CFBO) and public entities to reach out to people who are eligible but not participating in the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Grant amounts ranged from $100,000 to $350,000 and extended from one to two years. While grant proposals routinely address the question of whether and how projects will be sustained beyond the grant period, no follow-up information about the extent to which these projects have been sustained has been available to date. This report documents the extent to which CFBOs and the public entities that received food stamp outreach grants in 2001 and 2002 sustained their outreach projects up to three years beyond the funding period, challenges faced in sustaining their projects, and the factors contributing to their sustainability.

Resource | Research | SNAP Benefit Use
An Analysis of Food Stamp Benefit Redemption Patterns

Describe how participants redeem their food stamp (FS) benefits (including the number and types of stores frequented by typical clients, the timing and amount of purchases during the month, the frequency of benefit exhaustion, and the amount of benefits carried over into following months). And, identify redemption patterns across groups and analyze differences in redemption and shopping patterns if such exist (e.g., differences between participants with earnings and those without; differences between families with and without children; differences between geographic regions).

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 2004

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) helps low-income individuals purchase food so that they can obtain a nutritious diet. One important measure of a program’s performance is its ability to reach its target population, as indicated by the fraction of people eligible for benefits that actually participate. This report is the latest in a series on food stamp participation rates based on the March Current Population Survey, and presents national participation rates for fiscal year 2004.