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Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

The Use of State Administrative Data to Improve SNAP Eligibility Estimates: Findings and Recommendations from an Expert Panel

FNS has historically estimated the participation rate of SNAP by using Census data and samples of SNAP administrative data, but modeling SNAP eligibility using survey data has a number of challenges. In response, FNS, the Economic Research Service, and the Census Bureau sought potential solutions to these issues by linking Census survey data with monthly administrative records at the person level.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics

Trends in USDA SNAP Participation Rates: FY 2016-2019

This report is the latest in a series on SNAP participation rates, which estimate the proportion of people eligible for benefits under federal income and asset rules to those who actually participate in the program. This report presents rates for FY 2019, comparing them to rates for FY 2016-19 and showing participation rates by household characteristics.

Resource | Research | General/Other

National and State Level Estimates of WIC Eligibility and Program Reach in 2019

This report, the latest in a series of annual reports on WIC eligibility, presents 2019 national and state estimates of the number of people eligible for WIC benefits and the percents of the eligible population and the US population covered by the program, including estimates by participant category. The report also provides estimates by region, state, U.S. territory and race and ethnicity.

In March 2022, the report volumes were updated with improved national-level standard errors and margins of errors in some report and appendix tables. None of the point estimates for the number of eligible individuals or coverage rates required revision; only some standard errors and margins of error were revised.

Resource | Research | Participation Characteristics

WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2020

Since 1988, FNS has produced biennial reports on WIC participant and program characteristics (PC) for use in program monitoring and managing WIC information needs. The PC 2020 report summarizes demographic, income and health-related characteristics and behaviors of participants certified to receive WIC benefits in April 2020. As a response to COVID-19, the PC 2020 report also compares participant and program characteristics between participants certified to receive benefits in April 2020 and those certified to receive benefits in November 2020 in nine select state agencies.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Third National Survey of WIC Participants

The National Survey of WIC Participants (NSWP) study series is designed to describe state and local agency characteristics, examine participants’ characteristics, assess participants’ experiences with WIC, and estimate improper payments resulting from certification errors in WIC. The study is conducted approximately every 10 years, and the current study is the third iteration (NSWP-III) in the series. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (SNACS)

Centers and family daycare homes participating in CACFP play an important role in supporting the health and wellness of the children they serve. The Study of Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings  is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the CACFP. Data were collected in program year 2016–17 from CACFP providers and participating children on nutritional quality of meals served, nutrient intake of participating children, meal costs and revenues, and more. Findings serve as an important baseline for the subsequent updates to the meal pattern and nutrition standards, which were implemented in October 2017. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

USDA Summer Meals Study

The Summer Meals Study provides a comprehensive, nationally representative assessment of the two summer meal programs operated by USDA: the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option. It is the first national study to simultaneously examine the facilitators and barriers to program participation among participating and nonparticipating families, sponsors, and sites. This study examines the characteristics of participating and nonparticipating children, including sociodemographic characteristics, household food security status, reasons for participation or nonparticipation, and satisfaction with the meals served to children in the summer of 2018. 

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations

School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study

This study is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the school meal programs since the updated nutrition standards for school meals were phased in beginning School Year 2012-2013. A study methodology report that describes the study design, sampling and data collection and a summary report that provides a brief overview of the study and key findings from the various reports are also available.

Resource | Notices | Assessing/Improving Operations

Comment Request - School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II

This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study-II. The purpose of SNMCS-II is to provide a comprehensive picture of school food service operations and the nutritional quality, cost, and acceptability of meals served in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

Resource | Research | General/Other

National- and State-Level Estimates of WIC Eligibility and WIC Program Reach in 2018 With Updated Estimates for 2016 and 2017

This report, the latest in a series of annual reports on WIC eligibility, presents 2018 national and state estimates of the number of people eligible for WIC benefits and the percents of the eligible population and the US population covered by the program, including estimates by participant category.