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Changing Participation in Food Assistance Programs Among Low-Income Children After Welfare Reform

Author

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  • Todd, Jessica E.
  • Newman, Constance
  • Ver Ploeg, Michele

Abstract

In 1996, the safety net for poor households with children fundamentally changed when Federal legislation replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This study investigates participation in, and benefits received from, AFDC/TANF and food assistance programs, before and after the legislation, for children in low-income households (income below 300 percent of the Federal poverty line). The results show that, between 1990 and 2004, the share of children receiving food stamp benefits declined, most notably among children in the poorest households (income below 50 percent of the Federal poverty line). The share of children receiving benefits from the school meals programs and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) rose, mainly among children in low-income households with income above the Federal poverty line. Overall, the share of children in households that received benefits from AFDC/TANF or food assistance programs grew from 35 percent to 52 percent. However, the net result of these changes is that average total inflation-adjusted household benefits from all programs examined declined. The decline was largest among children in the poorest households.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd, Jessica E. & Newman, Constance & Ver Ploeg, Michele, 2010. "Changing Participation in Food Assistance Programs Among Low-Income Children After Welfare Reform," Economic Research Report 58613, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:58613
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.58613
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    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/58613/files/err92.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 988-1012, September.
    2. Newman, Constance, 2006. "The Income Volatility See-Saw: Implications for School Lunch," Economic Research Report 7237, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Winicki, Joshua, 2001. "Low-Income Families Participating in Fewer Assistance Programs," Food Review/ National Food Review, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, vol. 24(2), pages 1-7.
    4. Bollinger, Christopher R & David, Martin H, 2001. "Estimation with Response Error and Nonresponse: Food-Stamp Participation in the SIPP," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 129-141, April.
    5. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2009. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2009 Edition," Economic Research Report 55839, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Quinn Moore & Lara Hulsey & Michael Ponza, "undated". "Factors Associated with School Meal Participation and the Relationship Between Different Participation Measures," Mathematica Policy Research Reports bba9e02848c042cbbbfe8e220, Mathematica Policy Research.
    7. Jeffrey Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 2003. "Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 530-554, June.
    8. repec:mpr:mprres:3699 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    10. Jeffrey Grogger & Steven J. Haider & Jacob Klerman, 2003. "Why Did the Welfare Rolls Fall During the 1990's? The Importance of Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 288-292, May.
    11. Henderson, Everett J. & Capps, Randy & Finegold, Kenneth, 2008. "Impact of 2002-03 Farm Bill Restorations on Food Stamp Use by Legal Immigrants," Contractor and Cooperator Reports 292015, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. David C. Ribar & Marilyn Edelhoch & Qiduan Liu, 2008. "Watching the Clocks: The Role of Food Stamp Recertification and TANF Time Limits in Caseload Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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    Cited by:

    1. Tiehen, Laura & Jolliffe, Dean & Gundersen, Craig, 2012. "How State Policies Influence the Efficacy of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Reducing Poverty," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124937, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Tiehen, Laura & Jolliffe, Dean & Gundersen, Craig, 2012. "Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits," Economic Research Report 262233, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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