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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: Food Stamp Program Elderly Demonstration
Award Year: 2002
Amount of award, fiscal 2001: $198,816.00 fiscal 2002: $3,785.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research
Principal Investigator: James Ohls
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This project develops a plan for evaluating a set of demonstrations, funded by Food and Nutrition Service, that are aimed at increasing food stamp participation among elderly households. The plan will address implementation issues and effects on participation, administrative costs, client and stakeholder satisfaction, and household food stamp benefit levels.

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) is an important component of the Nation's food assistance and income security system for the poor due to the breadth of its coverage and the importance of its benefits for millions of low-income households. Even though the FSP is designed to reach all low-income categories and age groups, it plays a particularly important role as a safety net for low-income elderly households. There is some concern that not all elderly households have access to enough food or to the types of foods that prevent chronic, acute and degenerative diseases. In 1997 it was estimated that of the FSP eligible elderly, only about 30 percent participated in the program. Existing research has identified five broad categories of reasons for eligible elderly nonparticipation: lack of information; perceived lack of need; belief that expected benefits are so low that it is not worth the effort to apply; the perceived "hassles" connected to application and recertification; and the perceived stigma of receiving welfare. In order to increase participation of the eligible elderly, the Food and Nutrition Service is funding six pilot demonstrations to test the feasibility and effectiveness of three strategies: a simplified application, application assistance, and an alternative food stamp commodity model to increase eligible elderly participation in the FSP. The contractor will develop a plan to evaluate each of these pilots as they relate to increasing eligible elderly participation in the FSP. Mathematica Policy Research was awarded the contract to design the evaluation plan. Additional funding 03 $3,785 was provided in fiscal 2002 to support and organizational meeting with State sites.

Topic: Elderly, Program Operations, SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Output:
Sing, M., S. Cody, M. Sinclair, and R. Cohen. The Food Stamp Program's Elderly Nutrition Pilot Demonstration: Final Evaluation Design, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 5-2, USDA, ERS, March 2005.
Sing, M., S. Cody, M. Sinclair, R. Cohen, and J. Ohls. The Food Stamp Program's Elderly Nutrition Pilot Demonstration: Initial Evaluation Design, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 5-1, USDA, ERS, March 2005.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira

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