A User's Guide to Measures of Food Stamp Program Participation Rates

Last Published: 08/16/2016

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and other researchers have used a variety of approaches to calculate food stamp participation rates. While different approaches can look similar in concept,
the results – for particular States or for the Nation as a whole – can often look quite different. These differences can be confusing for users who seek to describe the success of the Food Stamp Program without becoming experts in statistics and data analysis. This paper provides an overview and comparison of two sets of estimates produced by FNS as indicators of Food Stamp Program performance.