Publications

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  • Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Award To Establish a USDA RIDGE Center for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research

    AP-071, June 07, 2016

    USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), in collaboration with USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), invites applications for a competitively awarded grant to establish a research center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. ERS anticipates that $600,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2016 to support this activity. This publication describes the RIDGE Center responsibilities and application requirements. The deadline for submission of applications is August 1, 2016.

  • RIDGE Project Summaries, 2009: Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program

    AP-051, November 24, 2010

    This report summarizes research findings from the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program (RIDGE), formerly known as the Small Grants Program. The Economic Research Service created the program in 1998 to stimulate new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and to broaden the network of social scientists that collaborate in investigating the food and nutrition challenges that exist across communities, regions, and States. The report includes summaries of the research findings of projects that were awarded 1-year grants in summer and fall 2008. The results of these research projects were presented at the RIDGE conference in October 2009. The projects include analyses of the impact of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children on food insecurity and childhood health outcomes, cognitive achievement and the School Breakfast Program, childhood obesity, food choices, and food stamp use among the elderly. Several of the projects focus on specific populations, such as immigrants, Native Americans, or people living in the rural South. Disclaimer: The studies summarized herein were conducted under research grants originating with the Economic Research Service. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ERS or USDA.

  • RIDGE Project Summaries, 2008: Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program

    AP-040, September 30, 2009

    This report summarizes research findings from the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program (RIDGE), formerly known as the Small Grants Program. The Economic Research Service created the program in 1998 to stimulate new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and to broaden the network of social scientists investigating the food and nutrition challenges that exist across communities, regions, and States. The report includes summaries of the research findings of projects that were awarded 1-year grants in summer and fall 2007. The results of these research projects were presented at the RIDGE conference in October 2008. The projects include analyses of WIC vendor access and fruit and vegetable availability, effects of food insecurity on the development of infants and toddlers, administrative data to evaluate CACFP in family child care homes, the economics of the Thrifty Food Plan, and food stamp use among the elderly. Several projects focus on specific populations such as immigrants, Native Americans, or people living in the rural South. Disclaimer: The studies summarized herein were conducted under research grants originating with the Economic Research Service. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ERS or USDA.

  • Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Awards To Establish RIDGE Centers for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research

    AP-038, July 09, 2009

    The Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) announces the recompetition of the grants that fund partner institutions in the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. ERS invites applications from university-based institutions for competitive grant awards to oversee the application, peer review, subgrant award, and quality-assurance processes of the RIDGE Program. ERS expects to fund two RIDGE Centers for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research beginning in fiscal 2010-one center focusing on food and nutrition assistance research at the national level (the RIDGE Center for National Studies) and the second center targeting specific populations (the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies). Subject to the availability of funds, initial year grants will be approximately $250,000 each for the RIDGE Center for National Studies and the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies. This publication describes Center responsibilities and application requirements. The deadline for submission of applications is September 15, 2009.

  • RIDGE Project Summaries, 2007: Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program

    AP-029, July 31, 2008

    This report summarizes research findings from the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics Program (RIDGE), formerly known as the Small Grants Program. The Economic Research Service created the program in 1998 to stimulate new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and to broaden the network of social scientists that collaborate in investigating the food and nutrition challenges that exist across communities, regions, and States. The report includes summaries of the research findings of projects that were awarded 1-year grants in summer and fall 2006. The results of these research projects were presented at the RIDGE conference in October 2007. The projects include analyses of the influence of WIC on children's health at birth, impacts of Food Stamp Program participation on weight gained by expectant mothers, community influence on food assistance and dietary choices, and economic effects of a policy to provide government-subsidized price discounts for the purchase of fruits and vegetables by food stamp recipients. Several of the projects focus on specific populations such as immigrants, Native Americans, or people living in the rural South.

    Disclaimer: The studies summarized herein were conducted under research grants originating with the Economic Research Service. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ERS or USDA.

  • Linking WIC Program Data to Medicaid and Vital Records Data: Phase II Report, Data Development Initiatives for Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs-Final Report

    EFAN-04005-2, June 02, 2004

    This report is a followup to a proposal to create a national database that links State data from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) with Medicaid and vital records data. The linked information would create new opportunities for Federal and State program administrators, as well as independent researchers, to examine a number of factors related to program participation and dynamics. The report provides an implementation plan for creating a national database, including potential costs, benefits, and alternatives. The initiative is one of three that have the potential to improve the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of research on Federal food assistance and nutrition programs. The other initiatives are addressed in the reports, Linking the Current Population Survey and State Food Stamp Program Administrative Data (E-FAN-04-005-1) and Establishing a Web-Based Data Collection System for National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Program Data (E-FAN-04-005-3).

  • Linking the Current Population Survey to State Food Stamp Program Administrative Data: Phase II Report, Data Development Initiatives for Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs-Final Report

    EFAN-04005-1, June 01, 2004

    This report is a followup to a proposal to link the Current Population Survey (CPS) to State Food Stamp Program (FSP) administrative data. A linked CPS-FSP file would create new opportunities to explore dynamic program participation patterns of FSP participants and eligible nonparticipants. The report provides an implementation plan for a linked CPS-FSP file, including potential costs, benefits, and alternatives. The initiative is one of three that have the potential to improve the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of research on Federal food assistance and nutrition programs. The other initiatives are addressed in the reports, Linking WIC Program Data to Medicaid and Vital Records Data (E-FAN-04-005-2) and Establishing a Web-Based Data Collection System for National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Program Data (E-FAN-04-005-3).

  • Establishing a Web-Based Data Collection System for National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Program Data: Technical Report

    EFAN-04005-3, June 01, 2004

    This report is a followup to an initiative to establish a central website to collect data from States on the National School Lunch and the School Breakfast Programs. A central website could be used by researchers and program administrators to compare and analyze data across State and local areas for participation trends in local school district programs. The report provides an implementation plan for establishing a central website, including potential costs, benefits, and alternatives. The initiative is one of three that have the potential to improve the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of research on Federal food assistance and nutrition programs. The other initiatives are addressed in the reports Linking the Current Population Survey and State Food Stamp Program Administrative Data (E-FAN-04-005-1) and Linking WIC Program Data to Medicaid and Vital Records Data (E-FAN-04-005-2).

  • Methods To Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume I, Final Report

    EFAN-01011, December 01, 2001

    This report identifies and assesses methods used to detect and prevent fraud and abuse among staff and participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The report summarizes the relevant WIC regulations; describes basic controls or practices widely used by State and local agencies to detect and prevent fraud and abuse; and highlights enhanced controls that can further improve the program's integrity.

    In addition to this report, see Methods to Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume II, Site Visits.

  • Methods To Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume II, Site Visits

    EFAN-01012, December 01, 2001

    This report identifies and assesses methods used to detect and prevent fraud and abuse among staff and participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The report summarizes the relevant WIC regulations; describes basic controls or practices widely used by State and local agencies to detect and prevent fraud and abuse; and highlights enhanced controls that can further improve the program's integrity.

    In addition to this report, see Methods to Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume I, Final Report.

  • Consumer Acceptance of Irradiated Meat and Poultry Products

    AIB-757, August 31, 2000

    The Federal Government began allowing food manufacturers to irradiate raw meat and meat products to control pathogenic microorganisms in February 2000. Consumer acceptance of irradiated foods could affect public health because many foodborne illnesses occur when consumers handle or eat meat or poultry contaminated by microbial pathogens. However, food manufacturers have been slow to adopt irradiation, partly because of the perception that relatively few consumers are willing to buy irradiated foods. A recent survey by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) confirmed this perception: only half of the adult residents of the FoodNet sites were willing to buy irradiated ground beef or chicken, and only a fourth were willing to pay a premium for these products, which cost more to produce than comparable nonirradiated products. These findings suggest that the impact of food irradiation on public health will be limited unless consumer preferences change, perhaps in response to educational messages about the safety and benefits of food irradiation.