Overview

Note: This topic page contains material that is related to the new Farm Act, signed into law on February 7, 2014. ERS has published highlights and some implications of the Act’s new programs and provisions. Sign up for the ERS Farm Bill e-newsletter to receive notices of topic page updates and other new Farm Bill-related materials on the ERS website.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) 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 analyzes:

  • SNAP participants' food consumption, spending, and obesity status,
  • factors such as regional and store format that influence the affordability of foods,
  • the role of prices and income in food choices,
  • the effects of nutrition information on food choices,
  • innovative strategies for improving food choices suggested by behavioral economics,
  • and evaluation of program outcomes.

Information about program eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process is available from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers the program.

ERS has compiled a database of over 1,000 peer-reviewed research reports and articles covering a broad spectrum of food and nutrition assistance research based on both intramural and extramural research published at ERS and elsewhere. The database is searchable by title, lead author, topics such as nutrition education, year of publication, data set analyzed and exact word(s) or phrases contained in the publication’s bibliographic citation. See Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Reports Database.