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
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
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 … 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