Publications

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  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 1998, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-002, April 06, 1998

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1998. The three priority research areas were (1) Dietary and Nutrition Outcomes, (2) Food Program Targeting and Delivery, (3) Program Forecasting and Budget Analysis. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 1998 was between $2 million and $4 million. The deadline for proposal submission was June 5, 1998.

  • Breastfeeding Promotion Research: The ES/WIC Nutrition Education Initiative and Economic Considerations

    AIB-744, September 01, 1998

    Educating low-income women about the advantages of breastfeeding their babies increases the number who breastfeed. This report summarizes the results of four projects that focused primarily on promoting breastfeeding, which is considered to be the most healthful and beneficial feeding method for most infants. Research has shown that breastfeeding improves the general health, growth, and development of infants and significantly reduces the risk of several health problems both during early life and in later years. Lower income women have been less likely to breastfeed than higher income women. One step the USDA has taken to promote breastfeeding is the ES/WIC Nutrition Education Initiative. This combines the strengths of two nutrition programs for low-income families, the Cooperative Extension System's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Food and Nutrition Service's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. This report shows that breastfeeding education before delivery increases the initiation of breastfeeding among low-income women. The results also indicate that breastfeeding support soon after delivery increases the duration of breastfeeding.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 1998 Activities

    AP-003, November 20, 1998

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 1998.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 1999, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-004, February 24, 1999

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 1999. The five priority research areas were (1) The Food Stamp Program as a Safety Net, (2) Better Serving the Working Poor, (3) WIC Program Research, (4) Child Nutrition Issues, and (5) Outcome-Based Performance Measures. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 1999 was between $2 million and $4 million. The deadline for proposal submission was June 3, 1999.

  • The Changing Food Assistance Landscape: The Food Stamp Program in a Post-Welfare Reform Environment

    AER-773, March 01, 1999

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) dramatically transformed and continues to transform the food assistance landscape in the United States. The Act cut more funds from the Food Stamp Program than it did from any other program, through reductions in benefits per person and restrictions in eligibility. Despite these cuts, food stamps now have a more prominent role in the post-welfare reform social safety net because the largest cash-assistance entitlement program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), was replaced with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, a nonentitlement program. This leaves the Food Stamp Program as one of the only remaining entitlement programs available to almost all low-income households.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 1999 Activities

    AP-005, January 03, 2000

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 1999.

  • Increasing Food Recovery From Farmers' Markets: A Preliminary Analysis

    FANRR-4, February 08, 2000

    Collecting unsold food discarded at farmers' markets has the potential to allow nonprofit food recovery and gleaning organizations to distribute significant quantities of wholesome, unsold fruits and vegetables to needy families. Donations of this unsold produce by the participants at these markets can generate tangible benefits: increased private food assistance and better nutrition for lower income families. The Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis presented in this study indicates that there is potential to strengthen the links between farmers' markets and nonprofit food recovery and gleaning organizations in many areas of the United States.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2000, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-006, March 01, 2000

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2000. The four priority research areas were (1) Reaching Underserved Populations, (2) Food Programs as a Safety Net and Client Well-Being, (3) Child Nutrition, and (4) Behavioral Nutrition. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2000 was between $2 million and $3 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 26, 2000.

  • WIC and the Nutrient Intake of Children

    FANRR-5, April 01, 2000

    After controlling for self-selection bias, participation in the WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) has a significant positive effect on children's intakes of iron, folate, and vitamin B-6. Iron is one of five nutrients targeted by the program, the others being protein, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Folate and vitamin B-6, along with zinc, were recommended by a 1991 USDA study as nutrients that the program should also target. The data set used, the 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, reflects the dramatic increase during the 1990's in the number of children in the program. ERS AutoFAX summary document # 01805. Contact: victoro@ers.usda.gov.

  • The Decline in Food Stamp Program Participation in the 1990's

    FANRR-7, June 26, 2000

    The Food Stamp Program saw an unprecedented decline in participation from 27.5 million participants in 1994 to 18.2 million participants in 1999. A strong economy and changes in social welfare programs drove this change. An econometric model with State-level data calculated that 35 percent of the caseload decline from 1994 to 1998 was associated with changing economic conditions and 12 percent with program reform and political variables. Household-level data from the Current Population Survey lead to the conclusion that 28 percent of the total change in participation was associated with a decrease in the number of people with low income (below 130 percent of the poverty line) and 55 percent was due to a decline in the proportion of low-income people who participate.

  • A Comparison of Food Assistance Programs in Mexico and the United States

    FANRR-6, August 04, 2000

    The social safety nets in Mexico and the United States rely heavily on food assistance programs to ensure food security and access to safe and nutritious foods. To achieve these general goals, both countries' programs are exclusively paid for out of internal funds and both target low-income households and/or individuals. Despite those similarities, economic, cultural, and demographic differences between the countries lead to differences in their abilities to ensure food security and access to safe and nutritious foods. Mexico uses geographic and household targeting to distribute benefits while the United States uses only household targeting. U.S. food assistance programs tend to be countercyclical (as the economy expands, food assistance expenditures decline and vice-versa). Mexican food assistance programs appear to be neither counter- nor procyclical. Food assistance programs have little effect on the extent of poverty in Mexico, while the opposite is true in the United States, primarily because the level of benefits as a percentage of income is much lower in Mexico and a much higher percentage of eligible households receive benefits from food assistance programs in the United States.

  • The Effect on Dietary Quality of Participation in the Food Stamp and WIC Programs

    FANRR-9, September 15, 2000

    Participants in the Food Stamp Program have higher intake of meats, added sugars, and total fats, according to a regression analysis. However, food stamp use does not significantly change intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, or dairy products. Participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have significantly lower intake of added sugars, which may reflect the substitution of WIC-supplied juices and cereals in place of higher sugar soft drinks and cereals. These findings come from a study of low-income Americans using the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals.

  • Summer Feeding Design Study: Final Report

    EFAN-01004, October 01, 2000

    The executive summary and three accompanying volumes of this report describe the design of a national study of USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP was created in 1975 to provide children from low-income families with nutritious meals when school is not in session. On a typical summer day, the program provides meals to more than 2 million children. Since 1975, eligibility criteria, administrative procedures, and funding levels have changed. The study, which is currently underway, will describe program operations and assess how they contribute to participation levels and the nutritional benefits of SFSP participation. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), to design the study to help ERS determine the appropriate sample and data collection methodologies, analytic methods, and study costs.

  • Study of Arizona Adults Leaving the Food Stamp Program: Final Report

    EFAN-01001, December 01, 2000

    This study examined the situation of adults in Arizona who left the Food Stamp Program in 1997. Adults with dependents or a disability who did not receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) at any time during the 12 months preceding their food stamp exit showed the highest degree of self-sufficiency (independence from both public benefits and private support and higher earnings). Adults with dependents or a disability who received TANF at some time during the 12 months preceding their exit improved the most in their post-exit employment situation. Able-bodied adults without dependents and adults with dependents or a disability who received TANF showed the strongest evidence of post-exit hardship and deprivation (living with family or friends while paying no rent or partial rent, no health insurance coverage, and food insecure with moderate or severe hunger).

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Small Grants Program: Executive Summaries of 1998 Research Grants

    FANRR-10, December 01, 2000

    The Economic Research Service Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) offers a Small Grants Program designed to stimulate new and innovative research on food assistance and nutrition issues and to broaden the participation of social science scholars in these issues. ERS created partnerships with five academic institutions and research institutes in administering the program. This report presents a summary of the research findings from the first set of small grants, which were awarded in the summer and fall of 1998.

  • The Consequences of Welfare Reform and Economic Change for the Food Stamp Program--Illustrations from Microsimulation: Final Report

    EFAN-01003, January 01, 2001

    This report summarizes the results of a longitudinal microsimulation model known as MATH STEWARD that was used to explore how state welfare reform and economic changes between 1992 and 1998 might have affected the Food Stamp Program and how an economic recession might affect food stamp outcomes. Slightly over half of the reductions in FSP caseloads and costs between December 1992 and December 1998 were simulated. About one-third of the simulated reductions in caseloads and costs could be attributed to changes in state welfare and child care policies; about two-thirds could be attributed to changes in state unemployment rates. In a future recession similar to the 1990-92 recession, food stamp caseloads could increase about 11 percent and food stamp costs could increase about 13 percent.

  • Food Stamp Leavers in Illinois-How Are They Doing Two Years Later? Final Report

    EFAN-01002, January 01, 2001

    This study examined the situation of food stamp recipients in Illinois who left the Food Stamp Program in 1997. About half of all leavers were employed in any given month after exiting the program, and many worked in low-wage jobs. Nearly half of all leavers returned to the program, and more than half had incomes below the poverty level. One-quarter of food stamp leavers reported having fair health, and 13 percent reported poor health or other health problems. One-quarter of food stamp leavers were food insecure, with either moderate or severe hunger evident. Food insecurity was higher among able-bodied adults without dependents than among other groups of leavers. Nearly 60 percent of all food stamp leavers experienced one or more serious hardships (extreme poverty, food insecurity, treatment for substance abuse, serious illness, and health problems but no health insurance).

  • Assessment of WIC Cost-Containment Practices: An Interim Report to Congress

    EFAN-01005, February 01, 2001

    The William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Act of 1998 directed ERS to conduct a study to assess the impacts of WIC (USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) cost-containment practices. This Interim Report presents results from the first year of the study, including details of State WIC agencies' cost-containment practices, classification of States according to cost-containment practices, and selection of six States for case studies. The report also describes planned data collection efforts and subsequent analysis to be conducted to address the objectives specified in the legislation.

  • Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference, Volume 1: Proceedings

    FANRR-11-1, February 28, 2001

    This is Volume 1 of a two-volume set and contains abbreviated proceedings of all presentations made at the Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference held on February 23-24, 1999. The conference was cosponsored by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and Economic Research Service and HHS's National Center for Health Statistics. The conference was part of an ongoing program of Federal food security research, the goal of which has been to establish a stable measurement strategy to assess annually the food security status of the U.S. population.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 2000 Activities

    AP-007, March 07, 2001

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) supports intramural and extramural research on a wide range of policy-relevant food assistance and nutrition topics. The three perennial program themes are (1) diet and nutritional outcomes, (2) food program targeting and delivery, and (3) program dynamics and administration. The core food and nutrition assistance programs include the Food Stamp Program, the child nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This report summarizes FANRP's activities and accomplishments in fiscal 2000.