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?
Start Date: September 2020
ID #: CAS070
Organization: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Project Lead: Alyssa Moran, ScD, MPH, RD
Implementing SNAP During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP AdministratorsSNAP was a critical component of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The beginning of the pandemic saw the largest increase in applications in the program’s history, and the pandemic fundamentally altered how SNAP agencies deliver benefits, interact with participants, and provide supportive services. The goal of this research was to examine SNAP implementation during the first More
State Implementation of SNAP Waivers and Flexibilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives From State Agency LeadersThis study aimed to describe state agencies’ implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers and facilitators to SNAP implementation, and recommendations to improve SNAP implementation. This study was qualitative, using 7 semistructured, virtual focus groups in April 2021 with state-level SNAP administrators and supportive services More