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Report on the Pretest of the Reaching the Working Poor and Poor Elderly Survey

Last Modified: 10/29/2013
Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Less than one-half of working households and less than two-fifths of elderly households that are thought to be eligible for food stamps actually received them in 1994. One way of increasing our understanding of the reasons for these low rates of participation in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) would be to conduct a national survey of nonparticipants who are eligible for the program. Because such a survey would have to overcome conceptual and operational challenges, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture contracted with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to design and test a survey of the reasons for nonparticipation among low-income working and elderly households. This report discusses our experiences conducting a pretest of this survey and our recommendations for the design and fielding of a larger national survey about the reasons for nonparticipation in the FSP.