Publications

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  • 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.

  • How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs

    EIB-100, September 21, 2012

    ERS examines the relationship between economic conditions and participation across USDA's five largest nutrition assistance programs, and describes how changes in policies and other factors affect participation.

  • Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2011

    AP-058, September 05, 2012

    This Supplement contains statistics that complement those provided in the Economic Research Report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2011 (ERR-141). 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 2011

    ERR-141, September 05, 2012

    The overall percentage of food-insecure U.S. households in 2011 was essentially unchanged from 2010. ERS monitors food security in an annual survey.

  • SNAP Benefits Alleviate the Intensity and Incidence of Poverty

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    Adding SNAP benefits to family income reduces the poverty rate and leads to even greater reductions in depth and severity of poverty, particularly among children. The antipoverty effect of SNAP was especially strong in 2009, when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased SNAP benefits levels.

  • Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits

    ERR-132, April 09, 2012

    ERS calculated the anti-poverty effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly called Food Stamps) using three measures: prevalence, depth, and severity of poverty. Get Report Summary and blog posting

  • 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.

  • What’s Behind the Rise in SNAP Participation?

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    Declining and persistently weak economic conditions have played a major role in the SNAP's growth over the past decade, as have policy changes to SNAP that improved accessibility, expanded eligibility, and raised benefit levels.

  • 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 Security of SNAP Recipients Improved Following the 2009 Stimulus Package

    Amber Waves, June 13, 2011

    Food spending by low-income households increased and their food security improved as a result of the increase in SNAP benefit levels authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

  • Food Security Improved Following the 2009 ARRA Increase in SNAP Benefits

    ERR-116, April 26, 2011

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 increased benefit levels for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and expanded SNAP eligibility for jobless adults without children. One goal of the program changes was to improve the food security of low-income households. We find that food expenditures by low-income households increased by about 5.4 percent and their food insecurity declined by 2.2 percentage points from 2008 to 2009. Food security did not improve for households with incomes somewhat above the SNAP eligibility range. These findings, based on data from the nationally representative Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, suggest that the ARRA SNAP enhancements contributed substantially to improvements for low-income households.

  • 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.

  • More Americans Relied on Food Assistance During Recession

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    In 2009, 14.7 percent of U.S. households (17.4 million) were food insecure. The slight increase from 2008 (14.6 percent of all households) marks the highest level observed since food security surveys were initiated in 1995.

  • State Participation-To-Poverty Rates for SNAP Mask County-Level Variation

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    ERS used data on SNAP participation and the number of people in poverty to calculate county-level "participation-to-poverty” rates. High rates mean that more people likely to be eligible for SNAP benefits receive them. Low rates may indicate the need for better outreach to low-income residents.

  • 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

  • The Food Assistance National Input-Output Multiplier (FANIOM) Model and Stimulus Effects of SNAP

    ERR-103, October 01, 2010

    USDA's Economic Research Service uses the Food Assistance National Input-Output Multiplier (FANIOM) model to represent and measure linkages between USDA's domestic food assistance programs, agriculture, and the U.S. economy. This report describes the data sources and the underlying assumptions and structure of the FANIOM model and illustrates its use to estimate the multiplier effects from benefits issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program). During an economic downturn, an increase in SNAP benefits provides a fiscal stimulus to the economy through a multiplier process. The report also examines the different types of multipliers for different economic variables that are estimated by input-output multiplier and macroeconomic models and considers alternative estimates of the jobs impact. FANIOM's GDP multiplier of 1.79 for SNAP benefits is comparable with multipliers from some macroeconomic models.