Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics
Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2007

On an average month in 2007, about 26.5 million people living in 11.8 million households participated in the Food Stamp Program in the United States. On October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program will change its name to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Food stamp households are a diverse group. Because food stamp benefits 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 in fiscal year 2007. Annual quality control data used to produce this report can be found using the link below.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2006

This report – the latest in an annual series – presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participated in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) during an average month in fiscal year 2006 and in each of the 2 previous fiscal 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 67 percent in fiscal year 2006. The participation rate for eligible working poor individuals was 57 percent, a significant difference of 10 percentage points.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the 2004/2005 Food Stamp Outreach Projects

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) is the Nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. About 1 of every 11 Americans participated in 2006. The program and its benefits are available to almost all eligible households whose income and assets fall below national eligibility thresholds. The participation rate among people eligible for benefits has increased in recent years (to 65 percent in 2005). However, many low-income people do not receive the nutrition assistance benefits to which they are entitled. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to making sure that all those eligible for food stamp benefits are able to access the program. To help meet that goal, over the last several fiscal years, FNS has awarded a series of grants to local organizations that, in turn, conduct outreach activities to educate potentially eligible individuals about the FSP and to
facilitate their access. FNS awarded nearly $2 million to 16 food stamp outreach projects in fiscal years 2004 and 2005. These projects are the focus of this report. The report describes the project goals and strategies, provides a general description of each grantee, and gives a synopsis of project performance. Performance is based on grantees’ self-evaluation.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Feasibility of Assessing Causes of State Variation in Food Stamp Program Administrative Costs

The total cost of State administrative expenses (SAE) in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) was $5.5 billion in FY 2007. (On October 1, 2008, the Food Stamp Program will change its name to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). While the Federal Government pays 100 percent of the cost of food stamp benefits, SAE are shared about 50/50 between the States and the Federal Government. These costs vary substantially between States. While the national average SAE was $469 per case in FY2007, State averages ranged from $169 in South Carolina to $1,169 in California. This study examines the feasibility of assessing causes of variation in SAE by addressing two fundamental sets of questions: Is it possible to measure SAE consistently across States to credibly assess the degree of variation? Are alternative ways to measure SAE needed? If so, what level of effort is needed? Can SAE variation be explained in the absence of a controlled experiment? If yes, what are the alternative approaches? Which are recommended?

Resource | Research | Promoting Healthy Eating
Diet Quality of Americans by Food Stamp Participation Status: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2004) provide a comprehensive picture of the nutrient intakes, diet quality, and food choices of Food Stamp Program (FSP) participants. Data are presented for FSP participants, income-eligible nonparticipants, and higher income non-participants, broken out by age and gender. In general, there are more similarities than differences across the three groups. Where differences occur, they tend to fall along income lines: Food Stamp participants and low income nonparticipants differed more from higher income individuals than each other.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 2000 to 2006

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) helps low-income individuals purchase food so that they can obtain a nutritious diet. One important measure of Program performance is the ability to reach its target population, as indicated by the fraction of people eligible for benefits who actually participate. This report is the latest in a series on food stamp participation rates. Estimates are based on the March 2007 Current Population Survey and FSP administrative data for Fiscal Year 2006. The findings represent national participation rates for FY 2006.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Modernization of the Food Stamp Program in Florida

This study focuses primarily on the changes as they related to the FSP. The study documents the changes made to FSP application and case maintenance procedures, and it assesses the potential impact of these changes on access to the FSP. The study is designed to help FNS as well as states that are considering modernization to learn from Florida’s experiences.