Publications

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  • 2014 Farm Act Maintains SNAP Eligibility Guidelines and Funds New Initiatives

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    The Agricultural Act of 2014 maintains SNAP’s basic eligibility guidelines and includes provisions designed to encourage SNAP recipients to choose healthy foods and to build the skills needed to increase their employment options. Other provisions aim to improve the food environment at schools and in low-income communities.

  • 2014-16 Eating & Health Module User's Guide (2016 Edition)

    AP-070, May 17, 2016

    The 2014-16 Eating & Health Module User's Guide (2016 Edition) provides detailed guidance to researchers on how to use the Module to measure time use and eating patterns.

  • A 30-Day Food Security Scale for Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement Data

    EFAN-02015, August 22, 2002

    This report describes and assesses a 30-day household food security scale that can be applied specifically to Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS) data. In the analysis described here, a 30-day scale was originally developed for use in the analysis of the 1995 CPS data. This report revises the scale to make it more consistent with the standard 12-month U.S. food security scale commonly used in food security household analyses. A nonlinear (Rasch-model-based) scaling method was used to statistically assess both the original and revised scales. The report specifies procedures for calculating the revised 30-day scale from CPS-FSS data and classifying households as to 30-day food security status. The report also compares prevalence rates of food insecurity with hunger based on the 30-day scale with those based on the 12-month scale for the years 1998-2000.

  • A Comparison of Household Food Security in Canada and the United States

    ERR-67, December 29, 2008

    Using nationally representative surveys from the United States and Canada, ERS compares rates of food insecurity in economic and demographic subgroups of the two countries.

  • A Pilot Program for U.S. Food Aid

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2008

    The sharp rise in food and fuel prices since 2006 has added to existing concerns about food security in developing countries. Under a pilot program for food aid in the 2008 Farm Act, the U.S. has made a commitment to provide cash of $60 million over 4 years to be used for local food purchases in recipient countries.

  • A Visual Primer for the Food and Agricultural Sectors

    Amber Waves, December 16, 2013

    Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, released in September 2013, is a collection of charts and maps covering fundamental statistics and trends related to the U.S. agricultural and food sectors. This data feature highlights a few of the questions that can be answered by the Essentials.

  • Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Updated Estimates of Distance to Supermarkets Using 2010 Data

    ERR-143, November 28, 2012

    ERS updates data on spatial access to affordable, healthy food, measuring distance to the nearest supermarkets for the U.S. population and considering factors like vehicle ownership and income level of households and areas.

  • Adults With Disabilities, Especially Mental Health Disabilities, Are at a Higher Risk for Food Insecurity

    Amber Waves, September 05, 2017

    A new study finds that the likelihood of living in a food-insecure household is highest for adults with mental health disabilties compared to adults with vision, hearing, cognitive, or ambulatory disabilities.

  • Assessing Potential Technical Enhancements to the U.S. Household Food Security Measures

    TB-1936, December 31, 2012

    The study assesses the extent to which USDA's measurement of household food security would be improved by one or more of five potential technical enhancements recommended by the National Academies' Committee on National Statistics.

  • Biotechnology and Food Security

    AIB-765-11, June 12, 2001

    This Food Security briefing paper describes ERS research on biotechnology in improving agricultural productivity and the role of research institutions to facilitate access to biotechnology in developing countries to produce more food for their growing population.

  • Characteristics of Low-Income Households With Very Low Food Security: An Analysis of the USDA GPRA Food Security Indicator

    EIB-25, May 31, 2007

    ERS provides information on the composition, location, employment, education, and other characteristics of households that experienced very low food security.

  • Children’s Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs

    EIB-174, June 20, 2017

    USDA child nutrition programs reduce food insecurity in households with children and contribute to diet quality and academic performance. One in 6 households with children was food insecure in 2015.

  • Climate Change and Food Security

    AIB-765-8, June 13, 2001

    The Climate Change and Food Security report offers a synthesis of ERS research on the potential impacts of global warming on developing countries in the Tropics and discusses how future climate change research could contribute to food security policies in the region.

  • Commemorating 20 Years of U.S. Food Security Measurement

    Amber Waves, October 05, 2015

    USDA’s release of the 2014 food security statistics marks the 20th year of consistent, scientifically-based, objective data on food adequacy in U.S. households. The 20-year anniversary provides an opportunity to review the history of the food security measure—how the measure was developed, tested, and evaluated—and to reflect on its impact.

  • Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit

    EFAN-02013, July 01, 2002

    This report provides a toolkit of standardized measurement tools for assessing various aspects of community food security. It includes a general guide to community assessment and focused materials for examining six basic assessment components related to community food security. These include guides for profiling general community characteristics and community food resources as well as materials for assessing household food security, food resource accessibility, food availability and affordability, and community food production resources. Data collection tools include secondary data sources, focus group guides, and a food store survey instrument. The toolkit was developed through a collaborative process that was initiated at the community Food Security Assessment Conference sponsored by ERS in June 1999. It is designed for use by community-based nonprofit organizations and business groups, local government officials, private citizens, and community planners.

  • Comparing National Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) Data With Other National Food Surveys’ Data

    EIB-157, July 27, 2016

    Data from USDA's National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), the first nationally representative household survey to collect data on foods purchased or acquired during a survey week, are compared with data from other national-level, food-related surveys.

  • Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Key Drivers

    EIB-168, March 23, 2017

    School districts with enrollment above 5,000, in urban areas, and in counties with more farmers’ markets were more likely to serve local foods daily, as were districts with higher per capita income and State farm-to-school policies.

  • Data Feature

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    USDA monitors the food security of the Nation's households through an annual, nationally representative household survey. Food security for a household means that all household members have access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security is a foundation for a healthy, well-nourished population. In the food security survey, about 50,000 surveyed households respond to a series of questions about food expenditures, use of Federal and community food assistance programs, and behaviors and experiences known to characterize households having difficulty meeting their food needs.

  • Disability Is an Important Risk Factor for Food Insecurity

    Amber Waves, May 06, 2013

    Disability has emerged as one of the strongest known factors in household food security. ERS found that a third of U.S. households with an adult unable to work due to disability were food insecure in 2009-10.

  • Does SNAP Decrease Food Insecurity? Untangling the Self-Selection Effect

    ERR-85, October 29, 2009

    Self-selection by more food-needy households into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) makes it difficult to observe positive effects of the program in survey data. This study investigates self-selection and ameliorative program effects by examining households' food security month by month for several months prior to initial receipt of SNAP benefits and for several months after joining the program. Two-year panels are constructed by matching the same households interviewed in the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement in 2 consecutive years using data from 2001 to 2006. Food security is observed to deteriorate in the 6 months prior to beginning to receive SNAP benefits and to improve shortly after. The results clearly demonstrate the self-selection by households into SNAP at a time when they are more severely food insecure. The results are consistent with a moderate ameliorative effect of SNAP-reducing the prevalence of very low food security among recent entrants by about one-third-although they do not conclusively demonstrate that extent of amelioration.