Category: Food Assistance

Resource Category Topic Type
Challenges in Serving Rural American Children through the Summer Food Service Program
When the school year ends, many low-income children rely on the USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to supplement their diet. But less than one-third of SFSP sites are located in rural communities and rural children participate at a lower rate than those in more urban areas.
Socioeconomic Indicators and Datasets, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Child Protective Services May Link Families to Needed Income Supports
The adverse effects of poverty on child and adolescent development are well documented and have been of interest to policy makers for several decades.1 Childhood poverty has a number of lasting impacts, including negative educational and cognitive outcomes, social and emotional behavior problems, poor adult economic outcomes, and health problems.2 For some children, these challenges are coupled with other family stressors including child maltreatment: children in poor families are approximately five times more likely to experience maltreatment than children in non-poor families.3 A number of public safety-net programs exist to help improve the economic well-being of vulnerable children,4 but little is known about the extent to which families with a child maltreatment report receive these services over time. In this brief, we examine the incidence of receiving four types of income support both immediately after the child maltreatment report and eighteen months following. Receipt of benefits immediately after the making of a report may suggest that families were connected to support services prior to their engagement with child protective services (CPS); receiving them only later may suggest the influence of the CPS engagement on support service use. The income supports analyzed include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps; Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); housing assistance; and the Social Security disability support. We also examine whether there are differences in the use of these income supports across rural and urban settings.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Data Snapshot: Both Rural and Urban SNAP Recipients Affected by Proposed Work Requirements
With the expiration of the current Farm Bill on September 30, 2018, the House and Senate are working in conference committee to reconcile their versions of its replacement. A major difference between the two is the House’s inclusion of a more intensive work requirement. By narrowing the parental work exemption to only those with children under age 6, and requiring recipients up to age 60 (rather than 50) to work, the proposed House bill would newly subject about 16 percent of SNAP recipients in rural and urban places alike to work requirements.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
Data Snapshot: SNAP Declines Continue in 2016, but Not for Rural Places
In 2016, 12.4 percent of households reported Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) receipt, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. Similar declines in suburbs and cities drove the national decrease, but the 14.8 percent of rural households receiving SNAP did not significantly change between 2015 and 2016.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
Federal Child Nutrition Programs are Important to Rural Households
This brief, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, examines how rural families use four of the major federal child nutrition programs. It finds that 29 percent of rural families with children participate but that there are barriers to these nutrition programs, such as the lack of public transportation and high operating costs for rural schools and child care programs.
Evaluation, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves millions of low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutritional risk by providing checks or vouchers for nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals.1 Foods eligible for WIC are high in certain nutrients and designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.2 Research has shown that WIC is a successful and cost-effective program. Numerous studies find that WIC participation improves pre- and postnatal health outcomes; families’ overall nutrition; access to prenatal care, health care for children, and immunizations; and children’s cognitive development and academic achievement.3 In 2015, the average monthly WIC benefit was $43.58 per person. Easing the costs associated with buying nutritional foods frees up family resources for other necessities, like housing and medical costs. Families with pre-tax incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for the program.4 WIC benefits are especially important for rural families, as the poverty rate is higher in rural than in urban areas (18 percent compared with 15 percent in 2014).5 It is important to consider uptake differences by place type as research indicates that rural women perceive more stigma surrounding participation in government assistance programs compared with women in urban areas.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Food Stamp and School Lunch Programs Alleviate Food Insecurity in Rural America
The Food Stamp and the National School Lunch Programs play a vital role in helping poor, rural Americans obtain a more nutritious diet and alleviate food insecurity and hunger. This fact sheet looks at the extent to which rural America depends on these programs and describes characteristics of beneficiaries of these federal nutrition assistance programs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Young Adults Publication
How Far Would You Drive for Fresh Food? How Some Rural New Hampshire Residents Navigate a Dismal Food Landscape
Lack of access to food stores with healthy and affordable food is one of the central obstacles to eradicating hunger in America. Approximately 23.5 million Americans live more than a mile from a supermarket, which makes accessing healthy food more challenging. Among low income populations, especially those with young children and limited transportation, this distance can severely limit access to affordable and healthy foods. This brief reports the challenges that eighteen rural New Hampshire mothers face to secure healthy, affordable, and quality foods and suggests ways to help address these challenges.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Low Income, New Hampshire, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Many Eligible Children Don’t Participate in School Nutrition Programs
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which authorizes funding for federal nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch Program; the School Breakfast Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the Summer Food Service Program; and the Child and Adult Care Food Program), is set to expire on September 30, 2015.1 The reauthorization process allows Congress the opportunity to evaluate, alter, and allocate funding for these programs, giving rise to opportunities for expanding participation and improving program quality. This brief uses data from the 2013 Current Population Survey’s Food Security Supplement to document levels of participation in two of the largest programs authorized by this act—the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program—by region and place type (rural, suburban, and city), to identify areas where expanding participation may be especially important.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Mapping Food Insecurity and Food Sources in New Hampshire Cities and Towns (co-publication with the Children's Alliance of NH)
Using a series of detailed New Hampshire maps, this brief presents a geographic picture of the towns and cities at risk for food insecurity as well as the food resources available across the state. By detailing places with high food insecurity risk and comparing them to places where food is available, these maps show areas of unmet need. This information will enable organizations partnering with New Hampshire Hunger Solutions to identify where initiatives addressing food insecurity and hunger could have the greatest potential impact.
Evaluation, New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, New Hampshire Publication
More Than One in Ten American Households Relies on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the most responsive federal programs to economic downturns, as evidence by the increases in SNAP use between 2007 and 2009. Nationally, more than one in ten households relies on SNAP benefits, and the rate is even higher in rural areas, with more than 13 percent of households reporting use. This brief examines the trends in SNAP use across the United States since the recession began in 2007 and considers the impact of legislation in the Congress on those who rely on SNAP to make ends meet.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Rates of SNAP Receipt Stabilize or Drop in All Regions for First Time Since Great Recession
From the beginning of the Great Recession in 2007 until 2012, receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits grew steadily.1 Participation and funding rose to historic levels2 driven by the changing economy, intensified efforts to enroll eligible populations, and expanded benefits and eligibility via the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Throughout the recovery, SNAP has acted as an economic stimulus and part of a safety net for struggling families. In 2013, SNAP receipt fell slightly—a decline perhaps indicative of a slowly recovering economy. However, substantially more households still reported receiving SNAP benefits in 2013 than before the recession.3 Despite the declines in SNAP receipt in 2013, the program remains an important support for populations at risk for food insecurity and hunger. There is currently substantial disagreement about the future of SNAP funding. The president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 made no substantial cuts to SNAP funding, and allotted additional funds to improving access to SNAP for seniors. By comparison, the budget resolution adopted by Congress cuts low- and moderate-income entitlements (outside of health care) by an average of one-third by 2025.4 If cuts to income security programs are applied across the board, the plan would cut $350 billion dollars over the next decade, from programs—like SNAP—that serve low income families. Although the proposed cuts are unlikely to be enacted in 2015, cuts will be debated and are likely to be a major component of the Farm Bill reauthorization debate, scheduled for 2018. Further, the impact of an earlier reduction in funding (November 2013) is not yet visible in most data, making it an important time to assess SNAP’s reach.5 This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to document rates of SNAP receipt in 2013, to track changes since the onset of the recession in 2007, and to monitor receipt by region and across rural places, suburbs, and cities. In addition, it examines levels of SNAP receipt among potentially vulnerable populations to determine how receipt has changed among these groups since the recession began.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
Recent Data Show Continued Growth in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Use
This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to examine rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receipt in 2011, with particular attention to changes since the onset of the recession, and to receipt by family composition, region, and place type (rural, suburban, and central city locations).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Reliance on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Continued to Rise Post-Recession
This brief uses data from the 2007, 2009, and 2010 American Community Survey to provide an up-to-date look at changes in SNAP receipt over the course of the recession. The author reports that receipt of SNAP continued to rise in 2010, increasing 4 percentage points since the recession began in 2007, and 1.6 percentage points since 2009.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Safety Net Publication
SNAP Use Increased Slightly in 2012
This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to examine rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receipt in 2012, track changes since the onset of the recession, and monitor receipt by region and place type.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Health, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
What's for Dinner? Finding and Affording Healthy Foods in New Hampshire Communities
Access to healthy food is becoming increasingly difficult for some households in the Granite State, as grocery stores relocate or consolidate, leaving some residents to depend on convenience stores for basic groceries. This brief looks at recent data on food deserts in New Hampshire.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Family, Food Assistance, New Hampshire, Safety Net Publication