Publications

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  • Household Food Security in the United States in 2012

    ERR-155, September 04, 2013

    An estimated 14.5 percent of U.S. households were food insecure some time in 2012, essentially unchanged from 2011. The share included 5.7 percent with very low food security.

  • Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2012

    AP-061, September 04, 2013

    This is the statistical supplement for USDA's annual report on households' access to adequate food for active, healthy living.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by School Lunch Participants: Implications for the Success of New Nutrition Standards

    ERR-154, August 27, 2013

    In schools already meeting new daily nutrition standards for fruits and vegetables as of 2005, students ate more of these foods than where the standards were not met. But many students did not eat any of the offered fruits and vegetables.

  • Post-Recession, a Greater Share of Food-Insecure Children Have Parents Who Are Unemployed or Working Part-Time

    Amber Waves, August 05, 2013

    In 2006-07, among households that had food-insecure children, 6.9 percent had an adult who was unemployed and looking for work and no other adults employed and 10.4 percent had an adult working part-time and no adults employed full-time. By 2010-11, these shares had increased to 12.2 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.

  • Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools: Implications for Foodservice Revenues

    EIB-114, June 26, 2013

    Over half of secondary school students consume competitive foods on a typical day; most choices would not meet nutrition standards. Foodservices in affluent districts obtain more revenue from competitive foods.

  • Food Insecurity in Households With Children: Prevalence, Severity, and Household Characteristics, 2010-11

    EIB-113, May 30, 2013

    In 2011, nearly 21 percent of households with children were food insecure. ERS describes the extent and severity of child food insecurity by household characteristics.

  • 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.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation Leads to Modest Changes in Diet Quality

    ERR-147, April 24, 2013

    ERS examined survey data to determine if the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changes the diet quality of program participants, and to compare the diet quality of low-income adult participants and nonparticipants in SNAP.

  • Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2012 Annual Report

    EIB-109, March 15, 2013

    In FY 2012, about 1 in 4 Americans participated in at least one of USDA's 15 food and nutrition assistance programs. Expenditures for these programs totaled $106.7 billion, 3 percent more than the previous fiscal year.

  • Analysis of Those Leaving USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reveals the Program’s Effectiveness

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    A recent ERS analysis compares the food security status of current SNAP recipients with that of households that had recently left the program. The difference of 8.9 percentage points in prevalence of very low food security between households that continued to receive SNAP benefits (14.2 percent) and households that had recently left the program (23.1 percent) provides an estimate of SNAP’s effectiveness in improving the food security of participating households.

  • Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities

    ERR-144, January 10, 2013

    Disability is an important risk factor for household food insecurity. One in three U.S. households that include an adult unable to work due to disability is food insecure.

  • 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.

  • The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2011 Annual Report

    EIB-93, March 19, 2012

    ERS reports trends in USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2011. Federal expenditures for these programs totaled $103.3 billion in fiscal 2011, 8 percent above the previous fiscal year.

  • How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Food?

    EIB-86, November 09, 2011

    ERS presents an overview of Americans' eating and other food-related time-use patterns, including grocery shopping, meal preparation, and teenagers' time-use patterns in relation to school meals.

  • Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2010

    AP-057, September 07, 2011

    This Supplement provides statistics that complement those in the Economic Research Report Household Food Security in the United States in 2010 (ERR-125). The Research Report provides the primary national statistics on household food security, food spending, and use of Federal food and nutrition assistance programs by food-insecure households. This Supplement provides additional statistics on component items of the household food security measure, the frequency-of-occurrence of food-insecure conditions, and selected statistics on household food security, food spending, and use of Federal and community food and nutrition assistance programs.

  • Household Food Security in the United States in 2010

    ERR-125, September 07, 2011

    An estimated 85.5 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2010, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.5 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.4 percent with very low food security-meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. The prevalence rate of very low food security declined from 5.7 percent in 2009, while the change in food insecurity overall (from 14.7 percent in 2009) was not statistically significant. The typical food-secure household spent 27 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Fifty-nine percent of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to the 2010 survey.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program Final Report: Fiscal 2010 Activities

    AP-053, January 28, 2011

    This report summarizes ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) activities and accomplishments in fiscal 2010, including newly awarded projects and recent publications. 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) Program Outcomes and Economic Well-Being of Participants, (2) Program Access and Economic Determinants of Participation, and (3) Program Dynamics and Efficiency. Within these broad themes, FANRP identifies priority areas for research emphasis annually.

  • WIC Participation Patterns: An Investigation of Delayed Entry & Early Exit

    ERR-109, December 28, 2010

    Despite the health benefits of participation, many eligible households do not participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). While roughly half of infants born in the United States receive WIC benefits, USDA statistics indicate that eligible pregnant women and children 1-5 years of age are far less likely to participate in WIC than eligible infants and postpartum women. This implies that a number of pregnant women delay enrollment until after having a child, and that many households leave the program when a participating child turns 1 year old. Research on the factors that influence the dynamics of WIC participation can inform outreach and targeting efforts, so that vulnerable populations receive adequate exposure to the benefits of WIC participation.

  • 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.

  • Household Food Security in the United States, 2009

    ERR-108, November 10, 2010

    The percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure in 2009 was 14.7 percent. Though that level is essentially unchanged from 2008, the levels in both years are the highest recorded since monitoring began in 1995