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 racial disparities that have been exacerbated by COVID-19. The research team will conduct an online survey and focus groups within the national network of state SNAP administrators to understand opportunities and challenges for improving equitable access to SNAP based on best practices in state waiver flexibilities and program modifications implemented in response to COVID-19. Specifically, this project aims to answer the following questions: (1) Which waivers and program modifications hold promise for improving access to SNAP for children and families (a) over the next several years and (b) in the longer-term?; (2) Under what conditions are these adaptations needed?; (3) What barriers, facilitators, and best practices exist for scaling these program changes across states?; and (4) What modifications or additional waiver flexibility, congressional action, funding, or technical guidance is needed to ensure equitable access to nutritious food through SNAP?
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
SNAP Waivers and Adaptations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of State Agency Perspectives in 2020
This research seeks to understand perspectives from state SNAP administrators on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from waivers and flexibilities used to preserve equitable access to SNAP during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report synthesizes results from an online survey of state SNAP administrators conducted between December 14, 2020, and … More
Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the … More
Special Issue on School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-I: Findings Related to Improving Diet Quality, Weight, and Disparities in U.S. Children
School meals are important contributors to the healthy diets of our nation’s children, especially those in food insecure households, according to new papers published in a special issue of the journal Nutrients. The papers address urgent policy challenges related to food security, childhood obesity, sugar consumption, and racial and ethnic … More