Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Explaining Recent Trends in Food Stamp Program Caseloads: Final Report

    EFAN-02008, March 01, 2002

    This report provides the results of a study on the effects of changes in the economy and recent policy changes on trends in food stamp caseloads during 1987-99 and seeks to account for the sharp decline in caseloads after 1994. The study analyzed food stamp receipt among different types of households, such as single- and multiple-adult households with children and adults and elderly persons living separately. The study found that the economy and recent policy changes affected different types of households in different ways. The economy had an especially strong effect on caseloads from multiple-adult households with children and on adults living separately. The economy explains at least 20 percent of the food stamp caseload decline between 1994 and 1999. Changes in several measures of specific components of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) account for another 21 percent. Restricted eligibility for noncitizens and adults without dependents could account for perhaps 10 percent. While most of the findings appear robust, some findings should be viewed with caution. The estimated effects of TANF are sensitive to the inclusion of additional controls for other factors that may also influence caseloads. Furthermore, some estimated effects of TANF policies appear to persist among households that do not include children, even though this program principally serves households with children.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • State Use of Funds To Increase Work Slots for Food Stamp Recipients: State Data Collection Instruments

    EFAN-01007, August 20, 2001

    The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 more than doubled funding to States for USDA's Food Stamp Employment and Training Program. The law required States to spend at least 80 percent of the funding on services that can fulfill the work requirements imposed by welfare reform legislation in 1996 on able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). This report fulfills the Act's mandate to USDA to examine and report on how States use the new funds to create work opportunities for ABAWDs and if this is done in an efficient and effective manner. The results show that total E&T Program spending increased, though States used less of their Federal grant allocations and more of State matching funds. States make specific recommendations for improving the program. This report is the survey instrument used for the study.

  • State Use of Funds To Increase Work Slots for Food Stamp Recipients: Report to Congress

    FANRR-15, August 16, 2001

    The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 more than doubled funding to States for USDA's Food Stamp Employment and Training Program. The law required States to spend at least 80 percent of the funding on services that can fulfill the work requirements imposed by welfare reform legislation in 1996 on able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). This report fulfills the Act's mandate to USDA to examine and report on how States use the new funds to create work opportunities for ABAWDs and if this is done in an efficient and effective manner. The results show that total E&T Program spending increased, though States used less of their Federal grant allocations and more of State matching funds. States make specific recommendations for improving the program.

  • 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.

  • Explaining the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle

    FANRR-12, April 01, 2001

    Empirical studies have shown that food stamp participants spend a higher proportion of their benefit on food than they would with an equivalent amount of cash. Our study demonstrates that this result can be explained by the decisionmaking behavior of multi-adult households. Multi-adult households spend a higher proportion of their food stamp benefit than they would with an equivalent amount of cash. In contrast, single-adult households show little difference in food spending between food stamps and an equivalent amount of cash. Because over 30 percent of food stamp participants are in multi-adult households, switching from food stamps to cash may reduce food purchases of these needy households. If that is indeed the case, the use of food stamps and other in-kind benefits may be more desirable than other forms of assistance.

  • 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 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).

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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.