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 | 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 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).

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Food Stamp Benefits and Participation Rates Within Demographics Groups

This analysis seeks to determine three things: whether differences in participation rates by benefit levels persist in a more recent period, whether these differences are similar across various demographic groups, and the distribution or share of eligible nonparticipants relative to potential benefits.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 2003

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 2003.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2002

This report is the latest in a series 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. The report presents food stamp participation rates for States in an average month in fiscal year 2002 and the two previous fiscal years. These estimates are lower than the estimates in previous reports for several reasons. Although the average monthly number of participants rose about 2 million across all States from fiscal year 2000 to 2002, even more families and individuals became eligible for program benefits. The expansion in the eligible population reflects (a) the updated limits on the value of vehicles than an eligible household can own, (b) the program’s response to changing economic conditions, and (c) technical changes that improved the accuracy of the estimates. Nationally, the participation rate among eligible persons declined from 55.7 percent in fiscal year 2000 to 53.8 percent in fiscal year 2002.