Resource | Research | Nutrition Education
Promoting Healthy Eating: An Investment In the Future

This report fulfills a Congressional request for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to report on "a comprehensive, integrated approach to nutrition education as a complement to the various nutrition assistance programs." FNS reviewed its current nutrition education efforts, and consulted with a wide range of nutrition education experts and stakeholders.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Introduction To Biometric Identification Technology: Capabilities and Applications To The Food Stamp Program

This report presents an overview of biometric identification technology with particular attention to its potential use to improve the integrity of the FSP. It briefly describes some of the major technologies, summarizes their capabilities, gives examples of applications, and discusses issues that should be considered in evaluating biometric identification technology. It pays particular attention to applications of the technology to the FSP, or to other welfare programs. Although it describes several specific biometric identification technologies, it focuses on finger imaging, which has been the primary technology used in social service programs. A companion report describes the efforts of nine States that have incorporated or plan to incorporate biometric technology in their social service programs, and discusses the cost and effectiveness of these programs, as well as the reactions to them by the client population.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Use of Biometric Identification Technology To Reduce Fraud in the Food Stamp Program Final Report

This report provides an overview of the experience of nine States with biometric identification technologies as of September 1999 and discusses some of the major policy and operational issues encountered during implementation and testing. The report also synthesizes available information on the effectiveness of the technology in reducing duplicate participation and provides a discussion of measurement complexities and issues on the horizon as use of the technology continues to expand. A companion report contains an overview of biometric identification technology, examining the functional capabilities, performance, and applications of the various technologies with a particular focus on finger imaging, the most commonly used and well known.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Report on the Pretest of the Reaching the Working Poor and Poor Elderly Survey

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.

Resource | Research | Participation Rates
Trends in FSP Participation Rates: Focus on September 1997

The Food Stamp Program (FSP) helps needy families purchase food so that they can maintain a nutritious diet. Families are eligible for the program if their financial resources fall below certain income and asset thresholds. However, not all eligible families participate in the program. Some choose not to, while others do not know they are eligible. The participation rate—the ratio of the number of participants to the number of eligibles—reveals the degree to which eligible families participate.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Options For A National Data To Track Participation in Federal Means-Tested Public Assistance Programs: Report to Congress

This report responds to PL 105-379, which mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to examine options for the design, development, implementation and operation of a national database to track participation in federal means-tested public assistance programs. Such a database would: Identify interstate duplicate cases, that is, individuals receiving program benefits in two or more States at the same time. Help track the time limits required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) across State boundaries. The time limits restrict the amount of time certain clients of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) can receive benefits.

Resource | Research | Promoting Healthy Eating
WIC and Head Start: Partners in Promoting Health and Nutrition for Young Children and Families

The WIC and Head Start programs share common goals. Both programs strive to promote positive health and nutrition status for young families. Both programs provide young children and families with nutritious foods, health and nutrition education, and assistance in accessing on-going preventive health care. In many communities, WIC and Head Start serve the same families. By working together, programs have an opportunity to coordinate these services and maximize use of scarce resources (e.g., funding, staff, space). Working together can mean minimizing duplicative efforts on the part of families and staff; more opportunities for WIC and Head Start to benefit from each program’s strengths, expertise and best practices; and ultimately, more ways to make a positive impact on good health and nutrition for children and families.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Current Population Survey Analysis of NSLP Participation and Income

This report examines data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) in order to analyze trends in free and reduced price certification and participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the period of 1993-1997. The data indicate that free certifications for NSLP as a percentage of CPS estimated eligibles have been increasing for several years and was 118% in 1997 (latest available). Moreover, although combined free and reduced price certifications as a percentage of estimated eligibles is still under 100%, this percentage has also been increasing for several years and will likely exceed 100% when 1998 CPS data is available. Nearly all states (49 of 51) had an increase in their total number of free and reduced price certifications as a percentage of estimated eligibles between 1993-1997.

Resource | Research | Policy Analysis
The Use of Food Stamps To Purchase Vitamin and Minerals Supplements

Interest, research, and expenditures on dietary supplements are growing very fast. Americans spent $8.2 billion in 1995 for vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanicals, and sports nutrition products. About half of all Americans reported at least some use of vitamins and minerals in response to recent surveys. The general goal of the study is to examine existing data that bear on a diverse set of pertinent issues.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Feasibility Study of Capturing Food Data at Checkout

In the past, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has relied on a series of large surveys to gather and compare information on food expenditures and food consumption among participants and non-participants to better understand the impacts of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) on the diet and nutritional status of program participants. Studies based on survey data, however, have a number of drawbacks, including the time and expense of collecting the survey data, sampling error, response bias, errors in respondent recall, and misinformation about what may have been purchased or consumed.