Resource | Research | Food Security
Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): Final Interim Evaluation Report

This study—authorized by the 2010 Child Nutrition Act—tests innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity. The interim evaluation report describes (1) the demonstration projects, (2) planning and early implementation activities, and (3) findings from the baseline data collection for four projects located within Chickasaw Nation, Kentucky, Nevada, and Virginia. A fifth demonstration project was implemented in Navajo Nation but not evaluated due to changes in program design. The demonstrations occurred during 2015-2017 and operated for 12 to 24 months

Resource | Research | Food Security
Measuring the Effect of SNAP Participation on Food Security

SNAP is designed to reduce food insecurity – reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns in a household due to lack of money or other resources – but data quantifying this effect is limited. The objectives of this study were to: Assess how food security and food expenditures vary with SNAP participation. Examine how relationships between SNAP and food security and between SNAP and food expenditures vary by household characteristics and circumstances. Estimating the effect of SNAP on food insecurity using household survey data is challenging because households that choose to participate in SNAP can differ in systematic ways from households that do not participate, making it hard to distinguish the impact of SNAP from these other factors. This study sought to control for the SNAP participation “selection bias” by comparing information collected from households within days of entering the program (new entrants) to information obtained after about 6 months of participation.

Resource | Research | Food Security
SNAP Food Security In-Depth Interview Study

The in-depth interviews discussed in this report consist of detailed discussions with 90 SNAP households with children in 6 States (California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Texas) about their financial situations, their use of SNAP, and their overall food security. Interview questions focused on household expenditures and income, SNAP and food shopping habits, eating habits, nutrition, triggers of food hardship, and food-related coping strategies.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit Adequacy

The purpose of this study was to examine how to define “adequacy” of SNAP allotments objectively in the context of program goals to improve food security and access to a healthy diet, existing data sources that could inform an assessment of the adequacy of existing and potential alternative SNAP allotments, and new data requirements to strengthen the evidence-base and allow for further rigorous analyses.  It examined whether it is feasible to objectively define “adequacy”, and to determine what data and analysis were needed to create an evidence based assessment of “adequacy”. This report is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the Institute of Medicine website.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

As the time for reauthorization of SNAP again approaches, it is useful to take stock of its accomplishments, identify those features that have contributed to its success, and look for new opportunities to strengthen operations to achieve program goals more fully. To that end, this is a summary of past research on program operations and outcomes.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Hunger and Obesity - Understanding a Food Insecurity Paradigm

The Workshop on Understanding the Relationship Between Food Insecurity and Obesity, held in Washington, DC, from November 16 to 18, 2010, was designed to provide an opportunity to explore and illuminate the relationship between food insecurity and obesity, the current state of research, and data and analyses needed to advance understanding of the relationship as a way of countering both hunger and obesity in the United States. This is the workshop summary of the National Academies Institute of Medicine (IOM), Food and Nutrition Board, which was commissioned by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. The workshop summary is available here by permission. It may also be obtained through the Institute of Medicine website.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Low-Income Household Spending Patterns and Measures of Poverty

This report compares spending patterns across consumption categories for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, eligible nonparticipating households, and ineligible households with incomes between 130 and 300 percent of poverty. It also estimates how small increases in income are allocated across consumption categories, analyzes how SNAP eligibility might change under an expenditure-based poverty threshold, and explores the use of savings and credit across the three participation and eligibility groups.

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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 | 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 | Food Security
Impact of Food Stamp Payment Errors on Household Purchasing Power

Most discussion of payment accuracy in the Food Stamp Program focuses on the overall level and cost of payment errors. Rarely does the discussion focus on the impact of payment errors on individual households affected. This analysis – based on 2003 food stamp quality control data – leads to two broad conclusions. First, virtually all households receiving food stamps are eligible. Thus, the problem of erroneous payments is not so much one of determining eligibility, but rather one of attempting to finely target benefits to the complicated and changing circumstances of low-income households. Second, most overpayments to eligible households are small relative to household income and official poverty standards. As a result, most food stamp households are poor, and they remain poor even when overpaid.