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
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
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
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 … More