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
SNAP Waivers and Adaptations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey of State Agency Perspectives in 2020
This research seeks to understand perspectives from state SNAP administrators on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from waivers and flexibilities used to preserve equitable access to SNAP during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report synthesizes results from an online survey of state SNAP administrators conducted between December 14, 2020, and … More
Strengthening the Impact of USDA’s Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Programs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
To address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of the USDA child nutrition summer feeding programs has drastically increased. Given the unprecedented use of the summer feeding programs, this research brief will (1) explain the meal pattern requirements and select operational differences between the summer feeding programs and the … More
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