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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Effects on Food Security (SNAPFS) Study

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides assistance benefits to more than 47 million low-income Americans in an effort to reduce hunger by facilitating beneficiaries’ access to food for a healthy, active lifestyle, otherwise known as food security.  A report released by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that SNAP participation is associated with improved food security. The study, conducted by Mathematica, is the largest and most rigorous study to date that examines the effect of SNAP on food security. Read the press release.

Key Findings

  • SNAP is associated with increases in household food security.
  • SNAP is associated with improved child food security.
  • SNAP was not associated with improved food security for households with an elderly member.
  • Improvement in food security associated with SNAP participation was greatest for households that receive larger benefits relative to household need.

Building the Evidence Base for Nutrition Policy

  • Study conducted by Mathematica is largest, most rigorous study of food security among SNAP participants to date: nearly 10,000 households surveyed in 30 states.
  • Unique study design using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses yielded findings that distinguish true program effects from differences in household characteristics and circumstances.

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