Over 10 million children participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Recent proposed policy changes have suggested banning or taxing the use of SNAP benefits for sugar-sweetened beverage purchases and/or subsidizing fruit and vegetable purchases with SNAP benefits. Several uncertainties about these proposed policies remain unanswered: 1) How will substitution of some products for others in response to price changes affect health outcomes? 2) How will SNAP participants supplement SNAP benefits with their own disposable income in response to the policy changes? 3) Will the costs of administering these interventions through SNAP justify their benefits? In this study, investigators will develop a microsimulation model of food consumption among SNAP participants and estimate the impact of proposed SNAP policy changes. The model will simulate a nationally representative set of households who enter and exit the SNAP participant pool over time, focusing on racially/ethnically diverse children and adolescents ages 3 to 18 and their families. Data from national nutrition surveys and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be used to inform the simulation of proposed SNAP policy reforms.
Improving Healthy Eating Among Children Through Changes in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Policies: An Economic Microsimulation
This paper models the potential impact of two proposed policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): a ban on using SNAP dollars to buy sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs); and a subsidy structured so that for every SNAP dollar spent on fruits and vegetables, thirty cents is credited back to … More
The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the … More
Acceptability, Preference, and No-Show Rates for In-Person and Phone-Based Consultations at Nine WIC Centers in New York City Before and During COVID-19
Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time … More