Food & Nutrition Assistance
Child Nutrition Programs
ERS conducts research on USDA's child nutrition programs and their role in children's food security, diets, and well-being. ERS studies the following child nutrition programs: the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and After-School Snacks and Suppers. Updated charts and data are based on 2016 data from the Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.
RIDGE Program and Extramural Research
The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program encourages new and innovative research on food and nutrition assistance issues and broadens the participation of social science scholars in such research. RIDGE is funded by ERS and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and is administered in partnership with Tufts University and the University of Connecticut (UConn). Tufts/UConn is currently accepting applications for the 2019 RIDGE research grants. The deadline is January 25, 2019.
Food Security in the U.S.
Food security—access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life—is one requirement for a healthy, well-nourished population. ERS plays a leading role in Federal research on food security in U.S. households and communities.
Poverty & Income Volatility
ERS examines the economic well-being of low-income participants and households in the various food and nutrition assistance programs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the Nation’s largest domestic food and nutrition assistance program for low-income Americans. ERS research focuses on SNAP’s effectiveness in meeting income support and diet quality objectives.
ERS conducts studies and evaluations of the WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), the third largest USDA domestic food and nutrition assistance program. The WIC program served about 7.3 million participants per month in fiscal year 2017, including almost half of all infants born in the United States.