Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Assessment of States' Use of Computer Matching Protocols in SNAP

As required by federal law, state SNAP agencies verify financial and non-financial information by matching SNAP applicant and participant information to various national and state data sources to ensure they meet the program’s eligibility criteria. Data matching is an important tool for ensuring program integrity and benefit accuracy. However,  information on states’ data matching practices and protocols is limited. This study was undertaken to address this knowledge gap.

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 | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: 2012–2014

Trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits occurs when SNAP recipients sell their benefits for cash to food retailers, often at a discount. Although trafficking does not increase costs to the Federal Government, it is a diversion of program benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. This report, the latest in a series of periodic analyses, provides estimates of the extent of trafficking during the period 2012 through 2014.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): Assessment of Sponsor Tiering Determinations - 2015

This report provides the 2015 national estimate of incorrect payments for the meal reimbursements. The assessment calculates both overpayments and underpayments for FDCHs that earn either Tier 1 (higher) or Tier II (lower) reimbursements depending on the location and circumstances of the child care provider or the participating children.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
WIC Vendor Peer Group Study

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of state agencies current peer group systems, and to provide guidance to state agencies on how to evaluate and update their systems. Specifically, it uses empirical analysis to identify one or more effective models for establishing vendor peer groups that could apply to most state agencies.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
The Second Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study (APEC II): Estimating and Validating Statistical Models for Updating Estimates of Improper Payments in the NSLP and SBP

Statistical models were designed to estimate national improper payments due to certification error on an annual basis using district-level data. This enables FNS to update its estimates of national improper payment rates for the NSLP and SBP in future years without having to conduct full rounds of primary data collection.

Resource | Research | Benefit Content/Cost
Foods Typically Purchased by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households

This study uses calendar year 2011 point-of-sale transaction data from a leading grocery retailer to examine the food choices of SNAP and non-SNAP households . On average, each month's transaction data contained over 1 billion records of food items bought by 26.5 million households in 127 million unique transactions.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Feasibility Study of Capturing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Purchases at the Point of Sale

This study examined the feasibility of creating a data collection system capable of directly and automatically providing USDA with item-level data on purchases made by SNAP households. Data would be captured at the point of sale from purchases made using EBT cards.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Approaches to Measuring Erroneous Payments in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program At The State Level

The second Access, Participation, Eligibility and Certification Study (APEC II) included a follow-on report that provided statistically-derived state-level estimates of school meals erroneous payments. However, while APEC II provided a rough indicator of relative risk for groups of states (e.g., higher than average, about average, lower than average), it was not a state-representative direct measure, and creating actual annual measures of such erroneous payments at the state level using APEC methodology is cost-prohibitive. This report explores alternative approaches to developing measurement-based state-specific estimates that are responsive to year-to-year changes in the actual underlying rate in each state. It also provides cost and burden estimates for the implementation of each of these methods.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Regional Office Review of Applications (RORA) for School Meals 2015

This is the 11th in a series of annual reports that examines the administrative accuracy of eligibility determinations and benefit issuance for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program.