Understanding the Determinants of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation

Last Modified: 10/29/2013
Friday, December 18, 2009

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has a strong interest in understanding why some eligible households choose to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and some do not. In addition to improving outreach approaches, an understanding of the circumstances and factors that contribute to an eligible household’s decision to participate in the program will inform the methodology for developing appropriate comparison groups for assessing SNAP outcomes. Because of ethical and legal considerations, FNS cannot examine the effect of participation in SNAP on outcomes such as food security
through experimental studies that would require withholding benefits from those eligible. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify whether regression modeling of extant data could yield adequate comparison groups to assess SNAP outcomes.