Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) Interim Report

The Healthy Incentive Pilot (HIP) is being evaluated using a rigorous research design. Of the SNAP households in Hampden County, 7,500 were randomly assigned to the HIP group and the remaining households to the non-HIP group. The overall goal of the evaluation is to assess the impact of HIP on participants’ intake of fruits and vegetables. The Interim report provides early estimates of fruit and vegetable consumption among participants and other early pilot impacts four to six months after implementation. This report is based on participant surveys conducted just before and 4 to 6 months after implementation. The surveys include 24-hour dietary recalls in addition to information about attitudes and preferences for fruits and vegetables and shopping patterns. Analyses of participant spending and incentive earnings are presented based on EBT transactions data for the first 6 months of the pilot.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the Expanded Off-Line EBT System in Ohio

This report describes how the Direction Card system works; the process undertaken by ODJFS and its EBT vendor to design, develop, and test the system; the implementation process and experiences; and the cost of system design, development, and implementation. Volume 2 of this report compares the ongoing administrative costs of system operations and system levels of benefit loss and diversion with those of on-line EBT systems and the Dayton pilot.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of the Expanded Off-Line EBT System in Ohio: Moving to a Statewide EBT System Using Smart Cards for Food Stamps

To explore the suitability of off-line electronic benefits transfer (EBT) as an alternative to paper issuance and on-line EBT issuance systems, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has supported the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS) in expanding off-line EBT issuance to all Food Stamp Program (FSP) recipients in the state. A pilot project in Dayton, Ohio and a demonstration of a combined WIC-EBT off-line system in Wyoming have clearly established the technical feasibility of off-line EBT for FSP benefit issuance. Both the Ohio and Wyoming pilot projects, however, were small in scale, and both incurred higher administrative costs than the paper coupon issuance systems they replaced.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of Food Retailer Compliance Management Demonstrations in EBT Ready States and Related Initiatives

This study evaluates the Retailer Compliance Management Demonstrations in EBT-ready States. In these demonstrations, the State food stamp agencies in New Mexico (NM) and South Carolina (SC) assumed responsibility for managing the participation of food retailers in the FSP, a task previously managed exclusively by the federal government.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Evaluation of Food Retailer Compliance Management Demonstrations in EBT-Ready States and Related Initiatives: Summary of Study of State Law Enforcement Agreements

The report is based on a telephone survey of all States with SLEB agreements and case studies of 6 States with noteworthy levels of SLEB agreement-generated activity.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
The Impacts of Off-Line Electronic Benefits Transfer Demonstration

The objectives of the demonstration were to determine the technological feasibility of offline EBT; whether it would be accepted by stakeholder groups; and whether it would be cost-effective.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Effects of Food Stamp Cash-Out on Administrative Costs, Participation, and Food Retailers in San Diego

A fundamental issue in the design of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) is the form benefits should take. Advocates of the current coupon system argue that coupons are a direct and inexpensive way to ensure that food stamp benefits are used to purchase food. Coupon advocates contend that, despite some evidence of fraud and benefit diversion under the current system, food stamps are used largely to purchase food. In addition, they contend that coupons give household food budgets some measure of protection against other demands on limited household resources. Advocates of cashing out the FSP argue that the current system limits the food-purchasing choices of recipients and places a stigma on participation. Moreover, they cite the cumbersome nature and cost of coupon issuance, transaction, and redemption.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
The Effects of Cash-Out on Food Use of Food Stamp Participants: Results from Four Demonstrations

A fundamental issue in the design of the Food Stamp Program is the form the benefits take. From the inception of pilot programs in the early 1960s to the contemporary program, the vehicle of choice has been the food stamp coupon, a voucher that can be redeemed for food at authorized retailers. For nearly that same period analyses have considered the relative merits of cash--or, in practice, checks--as an alternative. Advocates of the current coupon system argue that coupons are a direct and inexpensive way to ensure that food stamp benefits are used to purchase food, that the unauthorized use of food stamps is relatively limited despite some evidence of fraud and benefit diversion, and that coupons provide some measure of protection to food budgets from other demands on limited household resources. Advocates of cash benefits argue that the current system limits the purchasing choices of participants; places a stigma on participation; does not prevent the diversion of benefits (as evidenced by the existence of illegal trafficking); and entails excessive costs for coupon production, issuance, transaction, and redemption.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
The Evaluation of the Alabama Food Stamp Cash-Out Demonstration

A fundamental issue in the design of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) is the form benefits should take. Advocates of the current coupon system argue that coupons are a direct and inexpensive way to ensure that food stamp benefits are used to purchase food; that, despite some evidence of fraud and benefit diversion under the current system, the unauthorized use of food stamps is relatively limited; and that coupons provide some measure of protection to food budgets from other demands on limited household resources. Advocates of replacing coupons with cash argue that the current system limits the food purchasing choices of participants, places a stigma on participation; and entails excessive costs for coupon issuance, transaction, and redemption.