Publications

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  • 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.

  • Meals Offered by Tier 2 CACFP Family Child Care Providers - Effects of Lower Meal Reimbursements: A Report to Congress on the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study

    EFAN-02006, April 01, 2002

    The introduction of tiered reimbursement rates in 1997 did not substantially affect the food and nutrient composition of meals offered by Tier 2 providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) 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 child nutrition. PRWORA reduced reimbursement rates for Tier 2 providers (providers who are not low-income themselves and do not live in low-income areas). According to our 1999 study, Tier 2 providers neither cut back on meals and snacks served nor offered less nutritious foods, despite initial concerns about how Tier 2 providers would react to the reduced rates. Tier 2 meals have not compromised the overall goal of the CACFP meal component requirements: to provide a mix of foods that make an important contribution to a child's major nutritional needs.

  • 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.

  • Issues in Food Assistance-Program Targeting: Effects of Meal Reimbursement Tiering on the Child and Adult Care Food Program

    FANRR-26-1, April 01, 2002

    A 1995 study of the family child care homes portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) found that nearly 80 percent of children served came from middle and higher income families. To refocus the program on low-income children, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996 mandated an income-targeted meal reimbursement structure and called for a study of its effects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contracted with Abt Associates Inc., for a study of the effects of tiered meal reimbursement on the family child care homes portion of the CACFP. A key study finding was that the family child care homes component of the CACFP became substantially more focused on low-income children after tiering was introduced.

  • 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.

  • Plate Waste in School Nutrition Programs: Final Report to Congress

    EFAN-02009, March 14, 2002

    This report examines the level of plate waste in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and information on strategies to reduce it. Strategies examined include using the offer vs. serve provision for meal service, rescheduling lunch hours, improving the quality of food, tailoring serving sizes to student appetites, and providing nutrition education.

  • 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.

  • Household Food Security in the United States, 2000

    FANRR-21, March 01, 2002

    The latest in a series of annual statistical reports on the prevalence of food security, food insecurity, and hunger in U.S. households, based on the September 2000 Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement. This year's report, in addition to statistics on food security, includes information on how much U.S. households spent on food and the extent to which food-insecure households participated in Federal and community food assistance programs.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Methods To Prevent Fraud and Abuse Among Staff and Participants in the WIC Program: Volume I, Final Report

    EFAN-01011, 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 II, Site Visits.

  • 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.

  • Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference, Volume II: Papers

    FANRR-11-2, August 24, 2001

    The Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference (February 23-24, 1999) was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service and Economic Research Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Center for Health Statistics. The conference was part of an ongoing program of Federal food security research, the goal of which has been to establish a stable measurement strategy to assess annually the food security status of the U.S. population. This report is Volume II of a two-volume set and contains a set of research papers that conference participants prepared to provide further detail on the content and findings of some research presented at the conference.

  • 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.

  • Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference, Volume 1: Proceedings

    FANRR-11-1, February 28, 2001

    This is Volume 1 of a two-volume set and contains abbreviated proceedings of all presentations made at the Second Food Security Measurement and Research Conference held on February 23-24, 1999. The conference was cosponsored by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and Economic Research Service and HHS's National Center for Health Statistics. The conference was part of an ongoing program of Federal food security research, the goal of which has been to establish a stable measurement strategy to assess annually the food security status of the U.S. population.

  • Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Small Grants Program: Executive Summaries of 1998 Research Grants

    FANRR-10, December 01, 2000

    The Economic Research Service Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) offers a Small Grants Program designed to stimulate new and innovative research on food assistance and nutrition issues and to broaden the participation of social science scholars in these issues. ERS created partnerships with five academic institutions and research institutes in administering the program. This report presents a summary of the research findings from the first set of small grants, which were awarded in the summer and fall of 1998.

  • A Comparison of Food Assistance Programs in Mexico and the United States

    FANRR-6, August 04, 2000

    The social safety nets in Mexico and the United States rely heavily on food assistance programs to ensure food security and access to safe and nutritious foods. To achieve these general goals, both countries' programs are exclusively paid for out of internal funds and both target low-income households and/or individuals. Despite those similarities, economic, cultural, and demographic differences between the countries lead to differences in their abilities to ensure food security and access to safe and nutritious foods. Mexico uses geographic and household targeting to distribute benefits while the United States uses only household targeting. U.S. food assistance programs tend to be countercyclical (as the economy expands, food assistance expenditures decline and vice-versa). Mexican food assistance programs appear to be neither counter- nor procyclical. Food assistance programs have little effect on the extent of poverty in Mexico, while the opposite is true in the United States, primarily because the level of benefits as a percentage of income is much lower in Mexico and a much higher percentage of eligible households receive benefits from food assistance programs in the United States.