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  • Feeding Low-Income Children When School Is Out-The Summer Food Service Program: Final Report

    EFAN-03001, March 26, 2003

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), funds meals for children in low-income areas when school is not in session. The first comprehensive study of the SFSP since 1986 found that, in fiscal year 2001, more than 4,000 local sponsors provided about 130 million meals at more than 35,000 feeding sites. The number of children served in July 2001 (2.1 million per day) was about 14 percent of the number who received free or reduced-price school meals each day during the previous school year. On average, SFSP meals provided the levels of key nutrients recommended for school meals. However, breakfasts were slightly lower in food energy than recommended, and lunches were higher in fat. Half the SFSP sponsors were school districts, which operated about half the sites and served about half the meals. Other sponsors included government agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and residential camps. The nationally representative study, which was sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service, surveyed State administrators, sponsor staff, and site staff on program operations and on factors that affect participation.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Fiscal 2003, Competitive Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program: Description and Application Process

    AP-012, March 13, 2003

    ERS's Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program accepted proposals for grants and cooperative agreements for fiscal 2003. The three priority research areas were (1) Program Design and Operations, (2) Food Assistance as a Safety Net, and (3) Obesity, Diet Quality, and Health Outcomes. This publication describes the research areas and application requirements. Funding for competitive awards in fiscal 2003 was approximately $1 million. The deadline for proposal submission was May 19, 2003.

  • Food Stamp Leavers Research Study-Study of Nonwelfare Families Leaving the Food Stamp Program in South Carolina: Final Report

    EFAN-03003, March 06, 2003

    This report presents the results of a study of about 900 nonwelfare families who left the Food Stamp Program (FSP) in South Carolina between October 1998 and March 2000. Nonwelfare families were defined as families who did not receive any benefits under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program in the 12 months before leaving the FSP. The families were surveyed about 12 months after they left the FSP. The study results show that more than 80 percent of the respondents who were still off of food stamps were either working or living with an employed adult. Employment rates were much higher for Blacks than for Whites. More than 80 percent of the respondents who were working and still off of food stamps were working at least 30 hours per week. Among the unemployed who were still off food stamps, the most common reason for not working was the health condition of the respondent. Many respondents reported an increase in minor hardships since leaving the FSP but a few reported more serious hardships.

  • Food Assistance Landscape, March 2003

    FANRR-28-2, February 24, 2003

    About half of USDA's budget supports 15 domestic food assistance programs that serve an estimated 1 in 5 Americans at some point during the year. The goals of these programs are to provide needy persons with access to a more nutritious diet, to improve the eating habits of the Nation's children, and to help America's farmers by providing an outlet for the distribution of food purchased under farmer assistance authorities. The Economic Research Service (ERS) is responsible for conducting studies and evaluations of USDA's food assistance programs, focusing on diet and nutritional outcomes, food program targeting and delivery, and program dynamics and administration. This report uses data from the Food and Nutrition Service to examine trends in the food assistance programs through fiscal 2002. It also discusses a recent ERS study on one of the smaller, highly targeted food assistance programs-the Summer Food Service Program.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Final Report: Fiscal 2002 Activities

    AP-011, February 24, 2003

    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 2002.

  • Household Food Security in the United States, 2001

    FANRR-29, October 21, 2002

    Eighty-nine percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year 2001. The rest were food insecure at least some time during the year, meaning they did not always have access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members because they lacked sufficient money or other resources for food. The prevalence of food insecurity rose from 10.1 percent in 1999 to 10.7 percent in 2001, and the prevalence of food insecurity with hunger rose from 3.0 percent to 3.3 percent during the same period. This report, based on data from the December 2001 food security survey, provides the most recent statistics on the food security of U.S. households, as well as on how much they spent for food and the extent to which food-insecure households participated in Federal and community food assistance programs.

  • 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 Emergency Food Assistance System-Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume III: Survey Methodology

    EFAN-01008, October 01, 2002

    Findings of the first comprehensive government study of the Emergency Food Assistance System (EFAS) suggest that public and private food assistance may work in tandem to provide more comprehensive food assistance than either provides by itself. Five major types of organizations (emergency kitchens, food pantries, food banks, food rescue organizations, and emergency food organizations) operate in the EFAS. About 5,300 emergency kitchens provide more than 173 million meals a year, and 32,700 food pantries distribute about 2.9 billion pounds of food a year (roughly 2,200 million meals). Despite substantial amounts of food distributed by the system, the EFAS remains much smaller in scale than the Federal programs. The study, which was sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service, provides detailed information about the system's operations and about each of the five types of organizations. This report summarizes the survey methodology for the study.

  • The Emergency Food Assistance System-Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume II: Final Report

    FANRR-16-2, October 01, 2002

    Findings of the first comprehensive government study of the Emergency Food Assistance System (EFAS) suggest that public and private food assistance may work in tandem to provide more comprehensive food assistance than either provides by itself. Five major types of organizations (emergency kitchens, food pantries, food banks, food rescue organizations, and emergency food organizations) operate in the EFAS. About 5,300 emergency kitchens provide more than 173 million meals a year, and 32,700 food pantries distribute about 2.9 billion pounds of food a year (roughly 2,200 million meals). Despite substantial amounts of food distributed by the system, the EFAS remains much smaller in scale than the Federal programs. This study, which was sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service, provides detailed information about the system's operations and about each of the five types of organizations. This report presents the study results in detail.

  • Food Assistance Landscape, September 2002

    FANRR-28-1, September 02, 2002

    Nearly 1 in 6 Americans is served by 1 or more of the 15 domestic food assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at some point during the year. These programs provide needy persons with access to a more nutritious diet, provide opportunities to improve the eating habits of the Nation's children, and help America's farmers by creating an outlet for the distribution of food purchased under farmer assistance authorities. The Food Assistance Landscape, September 2002 provides a concise summary of USDA's food assistance programs at the midpoint of fiscal 2002, including trends and economic conditions affecting the programs.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Private Provision of Food Aid: The Emergency Food Assistance System

    FANRR-26-5, August 01, 2002

    Although Federal programs provide most food assistance in the U.S., many households rely on private, nonprofit, charitable organizations that provide emergency food in their communities. This issue brief reports findings from the first comprehensive government study of these organizations.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Effects of Changes in Food Stamp Expenditures Across the U.S. Economy

    FANRR-26-6, August 01, 2002

    The Food Stamp Program (FSP) provides assistance to more households during recessions and to fewer households during times of economic expansion. These changes in FSP expenditures can have stabilizing effects on the economy, stimulating economic activity during recessions and slowing demand during expansions. This issues brief shows that the FSP provides an economic stimulus during recessions only if the Government funds the increase in program expenditures through emergency financing, rather than through increased taxes or other budget-neutral means.

  • Re-Engineering the Welfare System-A Study of Administrative Changes to the Food Stamp Program: State Data Collection Instrument

    EFAN-01009, July 01, 2002

    All States in a recent study undertook at least one "re-engineering" activity in their Food Stamp Programs (FSPs) as a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). In addition, 35 States implemented changes in 3 or more re-engineering categories, while 24 States planned changes for fiscal year (FY) 2000 in 2 or more categories.

  • Re-Engineering the Welfare System-A Study of Administrative Changes to the Food Stamp Program: Final Report

    FANRR-17, July 01, 2002

    All States in a recent study undertook at least one "re-engineering" activity in their Food Stamp Programs (FSPs) as a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1966 (PRWORA). In addition, 35 States implemented changes in 3 or more re-engineering categories, while 24 States planned changes for fiscal year (FY) 2000 in 2 or more categories. PRWORA dramatically changed the systems that provide cash assistance and food stamps to low-income Americans. Along with mandatory changes in food stamp eligibility, States were given greater flexibility to administer their programs to meet their unique needs. While States had begun changing the way program services were delivered before passage of welfare reform legislation, PRWORA provided additional opportunities for them to "re-engineer" FSPs. The purpose of the study was to examine State-level administrative changes to FSPs as a result of PRWORA, both those made before FY 2000 and those planned for FY 2000. This report provides the study results.

    For the State data collection instrument, see Re-engineering the Welfare System-A Study of Administrative Changes to the Food Stamp Program: State Data Collection Instrument, E-FAN 01009.

  • Household Food Security in the United States, 1998 and 1999: Technical Report

    EFAN-02010, June 19, 2002

    This report complements prior reports on measuring household food security in the United States. It explores key technical issues related to Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement data, focusing especially on the August 1998 and April 1999 surveys. These technical issues include the estimation of standard errors using either balanced repeated replication techniques or generalized variance functions (GVFs) developed by the Census Bureau; the effect of alternating survey periods between spring and fall for the 1995-99 CPS Supplement; and the effect of using different Item Response Theory (IRT) modeling approaches and software to create the food security scale. The report also presents 1998 and 1999 item calibrations and household scores developed through the use of IRT modeling.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-The Standard Deduction in the Food Stamp Benefit Formula

    FANRR-26-3, June 03, 2002

    This issue brief explains the role of the standard deduction in the food stamp benefit formula and analyzes options for changing the level of the standard deduction.

  • The Emergency Food Assistance System-Findings From the Provider Survey, Volume I: Executive Summary

    FANRR-16-1, June 03, 2002

    Findings of the first comprehensive government study of the Emergency Food Assistance System (EFAS) suggest that public and private food assistance may work in tandem to provide more comprehensive food assistance than either provides by itself. Five major types of organizations (emergency kitchens, food pantries, food banks, food rescue organizations, and emergency food organizations) operate in the EFAS. About 5,300 emergency kitchens provide more than 173 million meals a year, and 32,700 food pantries distribute about 2.9 billion pounds of food a year (roughly 2,200 million meals). Despite substantial amounts of food distributed by the system, the EFAS remains much smaller in scale than the Federal programs. The study, which was sponsored by USDA's Economic Research Service, provides detailed information about the system's operations and about each of the five types of organizations. This report summarizes the results of the study.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Reforming Welfare: What Does It Mean for Rural Areas?

    FANRR-26-4, June 03, 2002

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act dramatically altered the social safety net for poor Americans, including the 7 million people living in poverty in nonmetro areas. This issue brief examines evidence from recent research about rural-urban differences in welfare reform impacts on program participation, employment, earnings, and poverty and assesses how well welfare reform is working in rural areas.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Reducing Food Insecurity in the United States: Assessing Progress Toward a National Objective

    FANRR-26-2, May 16, 2002

    This issues brief assesses progress toward the U.S. Government's Healthy People 2010 objective of reducing the prevalence rate of food insecurity in the Nation to half of its 1995 level by 2010. It describes methods used to measure and monitor food security, trends in food insecurity and hunger from 1995 to 2000, the extent to which the strong economic growth during the period was responsible for the improvements in food security, and characteristics of food-insecure households.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Small Grants Program: Executive Summaries of 2000 Research Grants

    FANRR-20, April 18, 2002

    This report summarizes research findings from the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Small Grants Program. The Economic Research Service created the program in 1998 to stimulate new and innovative research on food assistance and nutrition issues and to broaden the participation of social science scholars in these issues. The report includes summaries of the second set of small grants, awarded for 1-year research projects in the summer and fall of 1999, which focus on food security, hunger, and public- and private-sector efforts to aid low-income residents of the United States through food and nutrition assistance.