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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: A Study of the Emergency Food Assistance System: Provider and Recipient Characteristics
Award Year: 2002
Amount of award, fiscal 2000: $1,577,357.00 fiscal 1998: $1,493,061.00 fiscal 2001: $98,022.00 fiscal 2002: $60,345.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator: James Ohls
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: The study has four main objectives:
  • to develop an understanding, through a nationally representative sample, of the characteristics, operating structure, and service areas of food banks, food pantries, and emergency kitchens;
  • to understand the resource base of food banks, food pantries, and emergency kitchens and the capacity of these providers to manage current and future changes in food demand and food resources;
  • to develop a national estimate of the total number of recipients served and the total quantity and type of food, by source, that flows into food banks, food pantries, and emergency kitchens; and
  • to survey clients on their characteristics, participation in other food assistance programs, and reasons for obtaining emergency food instead of or in addition to obtaining food through USDA programs.

Many emergency food assistance providers are reporting increased demand for their services as a result of changes in the Nation's welfare and food assistance safety net under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and decreasing ability to meet the additional demand. Emergency food assistance from food pantries, emergency kitchens, or similar programs is a coping mechanism used by low-income households to augment household food supplies. The 1997 publication Hunger 1997: The Faces & Facts by Second Harvest, the Nation's largest charitable hunger relief organization, reported that 21 million people received emergency food assistance from Second Harvest-affiliated providers in 1997. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides commodity and administrative support to emergency food assistance providers through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Food Recovery and Gleaning Initiative seeks to increase the quantity of surplus food recovered from the food marketing system and distributed to needy households through emergency food assistance providers.

A contract was awarded to Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., for $1,493,061. A modification ($99,208) to the existing contract was made in fiscal 2000 to increase the coverage of the provider survey to include agencies that distribute TEFAP foods as a secondary function. An option ($1,577,357) to the contract was exercised in fiscal 2000 to survey clients on their characteristics, participation in other food assistance programs, and reasons for obtaining emergency food instead of or in addition to obtaining food through USDA programs. In fiscal 2001, a modification of $99,208 to the contract was made to increase the coverage of the provider survey to include agencies that distribute TEFAP foods as a secondary function, and an amendment for $98,022 was made to support additional data collection. In fiscal 2002, additional funding was provided to support sample administration in the client survey. The expected completion date is May 2003.

Topic: Emergency Food Assistance
Output:
Briefel, R., J. Jacobson, and L. Tiehen. Issues in Food Assistance--The Emergency Food Assistance System: Findings From the Client Survey, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 26-10, USDA, ERS, September 2003.
Briefel, R., J. Jacobson, N. Clusen, T. Zavitsky, M. Satake, B. Dawson, and R. Cohen. The Emergency Food Assistance System--Findings From the Client Survey: Executive Summary, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 32, USDA, ERS, July 2003.
Briefel, R., J. Jacobson, N. Clusen, T. Zavitsky, M. Satake, B. Dawson, and R. Cohen. The Emergency Food Assistance System--Findings From the Client Survey: Final Report, E-FAN-03-007, USDA, ERS, July 2003.
Ohls, J., and F. Saleem-Ismail. The Emergency Food Assistance System--Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume I: Executive Summary, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 16-1, USDA, ERS, June 2002.
Ohls, J., F. Saleem-Ismail, R. Cohen, and B. Cox. The Emergency Food Assistance System--Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume III: Survey Methodology, E-FAN-01-008, USDA, ERS, October 2002.
Ohls, J., Saleem-Ismail, F., Cohen, R., Cox, B., and Tiehen, L. The Emergency Food Assistance System--Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume II: Final Report, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 16-2, USDA, ERS, August 2002.
Tiehen, L. "Use of Food Pantries by Households with Children Rose During the late 1990's," FoodReview, Vol. 25, Issue 3, Winter 2002.
Tiehen, L., Issues in Food Assistance--Private Provision of Food Aid: The Emergency Food Assistance System, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. 26-5, USDA, ERS, August 2002.

Last updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira