Start Date: September 2020

ID #: CAS070

Organization: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Project Lead: Alyssa Moran, ScD, MPH, RD

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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?

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