Publications

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  • Food Expenditures by U.S. Households: Looking Ahead to 2020

    AER-821, February 01, 2003

    Over the next two decades, U.S. food expenditures will continue to rise. This study examines how projected food expenditures will be affected by demographic changes, population growth, increasing per capita income levels, and other factors.

  • Effects of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs on Nutrition and Health: Volume 2, Data Sources

    FANRR-19-2, October 01, 2002

    This is the second of four reports completed by Abt Associates Inc., under the contract "The Nutrition and Health Outcome Study." This report is an evaluation of various data sources for their potential for analyzing the impacts of USDA's food assistance and nutrition programs. Data sources are evaluated against three criteria: coverage of both program participants and nonparticipants; identification of participants and determination of eligibility among nonparticipants; and availability of impact measures. Each data source is classified into one of four categories: principal, potential, recognized, and insufficient. Principal and potential sources are discussed and profiled in this report.

  • The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Issues

    FANRR-27, October 01, 2002

    The mission of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services. Administered by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the program has grown rapidly since 1972. Almost half of all infants and about one-quarter of all children 1-4 years of age in the United States now participate. WIC accounts for almost 12 percent of total Federal spending on food and nutrition assistance. This report describes the WIC program-how it works, its history, program trends, and the characteristics of the population it serves. It also examines issues related to program outcomes and administration. How the WIC community responds to these issues may have a large impact on future program operations.

  • 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.

  • Households with Children in CACFP Child Care Homes - Effects of Meal Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02005, April 01, 2002

    Within the family child care home portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), low-income children increased from 21 to 39 percent of all participating children between 1995 and 1999. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure for CACFP child care homes--designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children--and called for a study of its effects on program participants and on meals offered to children. The study finds that the proportion of dollars allocated to low-income children's meals more than doubled, from 21 percent to 45 percent.

  • Family Child Care Providers in the CACFP - Operational Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02004, April 01, 2002

    Family child care providers who participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) receive reimbursement for qualifying meals served to children in their care. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a two-tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participants and on meals offered to children. Participating providers who receive the lower Tier 2 reimbursements tend to charge higher hourly fees and spend somewhat less on food, according to analyses controlling for provider's location and operating characteristics. The pattern of meals and snacks that providers offered was not altered by tiering, however.

  • Sponsoring Organizations in the CACFP - Administrative Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02003, April 01, 2002

    Sponsors of family child care homes in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) took on additional responsibilities as a result of the tiered reimbursement structure introduced in 1997. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participants and on meals offered to children. Tiering has created a requirement for sponsors to classify family child care homes (providers) and some participating children according to income status. Sponsors surveyed in 1999 also reported that they had increased training and monitoring, expanded services to providers, and heightened recruitment efforts.

  • Family Child Care Home Participation in the CACFP - Effects of Reimbursement Tiering: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02002, March 13, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 reduced the number of family child care homes participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in 1998 and 1999. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated a tiered reimbursement structure designed to target benefits more narrowly to low-income children and called for a study of its effects on program participation and on meals offered to children. This report presents analyses focusing on how the revised reimbursement structure affected the number of family child care homes participating in the CACFP. By reducing participation incentives for child care homes that were not considered to be low-income ('Tier 2' homes), tiering reduced the total number of participating CACFP homes. Tiering had little or no discernible effect on the number of children participating in the program, the number of CACFP sponsors, or the nationwide number of licensed providers of child care.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2002, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-010, March 08, 2002

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2002. The five priority research areas were (1) Program Design and Operations, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Obesity, (4) Eating Patterns, Diet Quality, and Health Outcomes, and (5) Behavioral Nutrition. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2002 was approximately $2 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 17, 2002.

  • Reimbursement Tiering in the CACFP: Summary Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    FANRR-22, March 01, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) concentrated program benefits more intensely on low-income children, as intended. Tiering reduced the number of family child care homes participating in the program, but did not alter the number or nutritional quality of meals offered by participating providers. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated the tiered reimbursement structure and called for a study of its effects on program participation and on meals offered to children. Data were collected during the spring and summer of 1999 from nationally representative samples of participating family child care homes, their sponsors, and the parents of the children they served. This report summarizes the results of the study.

  • Effects of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs on Nutrition and Health: Volume 1, Research Design

    FANRR-19-1, February 01, 2002

    This is the first of four reports in the "Nutrition and Health Outcome Study," which assesses the effects of USDA's food assistance and nutrition programs on nutrition and health outcomes. This report reviews the research designs available to evaluators for assessing the effect of USDA's food assistance and nutrition programs. The random assignment experiment is the "gold standard" design for such an evaluation. Where random assignment is impossible, quasi-experimental designs are used to infer what would have happened to program participants if the program had not existed. Eight types of quasi-experimental design are identified as having been used in evaluations of food assistance and nutrition programs, although none can guarantee unbiased estimates of program impacts.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 2001 Activities

    AP-009, January 03, 2002

    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 2001.

  • Changing Structure of Global Food Consumption and Trade

    WRS-01-1, May 30, 2001

    Higher income, urbanization, other demographic shifts, improved transportation, and consumer perceptions regarding quality and safety are changing global food consumption patterns. Shifts in food consumption have led to increased trade and changes in the composition of world agricultural trade. Given different diets, food expenditure and food budget responses to income and price changes vary between developing and developed countries. In developing countries, higher income results in increased demand for meat products, often leading to increased import of live-stock feed. Diet diversification and increasing demand for better quality and labor-saving products have increased imports of high-value and processed food products in developed countries. Consumer groups in developed countries have also brought attention to organic production of food and the topic of animal welfare. One way in which the public and private sectors have responded to consumer demand for these quality attributes has been by developing and implementing mandatory and voluntary quality control, management, and assurance schemes.

  • Understanding the Food Stamp Benefit Formula: A Tool for Measuring the Component Effects

    FANRR-14, April 20, 2001

    This report develops an accounting tool for measuring how the average benefit amount in the U.S. Food Stamp Program is affected by each major component of the rules that determine the benefit level. This tool is used to compare the benefits received by different subpopulations, distinguished by poverty level, demographic makeup, household size, and region of the country. This simple decomposition complements more complex tools, such as microsimulation methods, which help policy analysts understand and evaluate the effects of detailed Food Stamp Program regulations.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2001, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-008, April 06, 2001

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2001. The five priority research areas were (1) Workforce Attachment, Income Volatility, and Administrative Costs, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, (3) Targeting High Needs Subgroups, (4) Eating Patterns, Food Choices, and Health Outcomes, and (5) Nutrition Education: Public and Private Returns to Information. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2001 was approximately $2 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 18, 2001.

  • 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.

  • The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis

    FANRR-13, March 01, 2001

    A minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding were increased from current levels (64 percent in-hospital, 29 percent at 6 months) to those recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General (75 and 50 percent). This figure is likely an underestimation of the total savings because it represents cost savings from the treatment of only three childhood illnesses: otitis media, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis. This report reviews breastfeeding trends and previous studies that assessed the economic benefits of breastfeeding.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.