Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (FANRR-28-2) 6 pp

February 2003

Food Assistance Landscape, March 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.

Keywords: Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, Food Stamp Program, food stamps, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Feeding Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, WIC

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