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 2018 data from the Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.
Food Assistance Data & Collaborative Research Programs
USDA's domestic food and nutrition assistance programs affect the daily lives of millions of people, with about one in four Americans participating in at least one program at some point during a given year. These programs represent a significant investment, accounting for over two-thirds of USDA's annual budget. ERS is the primary source for economic studies and evaluations of domestic food and nutrition assistance programs to meet the needs of USDA, Congress, program managers, program participants, the research community, and the public at large.
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 of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the third largest USDA domestic food and nutrition assistance program. The WIC program served about 6.2 million participants per month in fiscal year 2020, including almost half of all infants born in the United States.