One in five U.S. children are eligible to participate in federal income, food, and housing support programs. These programs reduce the prevalence and intensity of poverty, but their combined effects on nutrition and health are not well understood, and participation is not maximized. The proposed research examines the incremental and combined impact of participation in two programs, SNAP and housing assistance, by applying novel quasi-experimental methods to two national datasets. We will conduct interviews with state agency and elected officials to understand challenges and opportunities for states to make access to multiple programs simpler for children and their families.This project has the following specific aims: (1) determine the incremental and combined effects of participation in SNAP and housing assistance on child and parent/caregiver diet quality, metabolic health and adiposity, and mental health; (2) determine the incremental and combined effects of participation in SNAP and housing assistance on household food purchase quality, food security, and financial security; and (3)understand state agency and elected official perspectives on key barriers to streamlining the enrollment and recertification process to make benefit attainment easier for eligible households.
Studying the Impact on Children’s Nutrition and Health of Participation in, and How to Increase Access to, Multiple Safety-Net Programs
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
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