Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) and school-based Meals-to-Go (MTG). The relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these two strategies remains unknown. The purpose of these analyses is to compare the P-EBT and Meals-To-Go (MTG) policies and conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of their effects on food access and security for school-age children in the United States to inform efforts to increase food security for children when school is out – in the summer or during future crises. This study will include three objectives: 1) Compile secondary data about implementation and outcomes of the two policies, 2) Qualitatively summarize and compare implementation processes and outcomes, and 3) Conduct a comparative quantitative analysis of population reach and average cost-per-meal provided (cost-effectiveness) and estimate effects on food insecurity.
Feeding Our Children: Comparing Pandemic EBT and School Meals‑to‑Go
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
The rapid rise in food insecurity among households with children during COVID-19 has reinforced the critical role SNAP plays in reducing food insecurity and poverty, particularly in low-income communities of color. Waivers and other state program modifications enacted during the pandemic could improve access to SNAP and reduce income and … More
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated barriers to participation in the WIC program, since people were encouraged or required to stay home and grocery stores experienced shortages of food items. Washington State’s WIC program has been actively re-tooling service delivery prior to and at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to … More