How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs
AbstractThis study, based on 1976-2010 data, examines the relationship between U.S. economic conditions and participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s five largest nutrition assistance programs. It also describes how changes in program policy and other factors may have influenced this relationship. The five programs are: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Although SNAP’s reputation as one of the Nation’s primary counter-cyclical assistance programs—expanding during economic downturns and contracting during periods of economic growth—is well established, there has been little analysis of the effect of the economy on the other programs. The results of this study strongly suggest that, to varying degrees, economic conditions influence participation in all the major nutrition assistance programs, not just in SNAP.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 134682.
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
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Nutrition assistance programs; business cycle; caseloads; participation; unemployment rate; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women; Infants; and Children (WIC); National School Lunch Program (NSLP); School Breakfast Program (SBP); and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty;
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- Hanson, Kenneth & Oliveira, Victor, 2007. "The 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes' Effect On Food Stamp Program Caseloads And Benefits Issued," Economic Research Report 7259, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Swann Christopher A, 2010. "WIC Eligibility and Participation: The Roles of Changing Policies, Economic Conditions, and Demographics," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-37, March.
- Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "Families, Taxes and the Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 7369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Danielson, Caroline & Klerman, Jacob & Mejia, Marisol Cuellar, 2013. "Does the Economy Explain the Explosion in the SNAP Caseload?," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150558, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
- Ganong, Peter & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2013. "The Decline, Rebound, and Further Rise in SNAP Enrollment: Disentangling Business Cycle Fluctuations and Policy Changes," Working Paper Series rwp13-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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