How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs

62 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2012

See all articles by Kenneth Hanson

Kenneth Hanson

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Victor Oliveira

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

This 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 countercyclical 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.

Keywords: 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), Child

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Kenneth and Oliveira, Victor, How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs (September 1, 2012). USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin No. 100, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2176939

Kenneth Hanson (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5427 (Phone)

Victor Oliveira

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5434 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
445
rank
340,974
PlumX Metrics