Following Hurricane Maria, Congress appropriated additional disaster relief funds provided by section 309 of PL 115-72 that were distributed through the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) to program participants in Puerto Rico. Under HR 2157, section 105, funds were appropriated for the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct an independent study, including a survey of NAP participants, to examine the food security, health status, and well-being of NAP participants and low-income residents in Puerto Rico.
FNS is conducting this study to establish baseline estimates of household food security status in Puerto Rico. FNS has identified five objectives for this study:
- Produce descriptive statistics on key sociodemographic and economic variables, including household food security, in a representative sample of Puerto Rico households.
- Produce descriptive statistics on key sociodemographic and economic variables, including household food insecurity, in multiple representative subsamples in Puerto Rico stratified according to the following classifications: NAP participants and low-income nonparticipants, adults aged 60 and older, disability status, employment status, and educational level.
- Produce descriptive statistics for each subsample in Puerto Rico on key social, geospatial, and other policy-relevant elements of health and well-being associated with household food security.
- Characterize the social context of food insecurity through in-depth interviews with individuals within the NAP participant and low-income nonparticipant subgroups. Each interview will ask the individual to consider the household or family, community and Federal food assistance, and disaster relief contexts.
- Develop a detailed concept/problem map of the systemic factors that shape the implementation of the NAP program, particularly as a disaster relief tool. The concept mapping process will include data collection from key informants with knowledge of one or more of the stages of the Puerto Rican food and nutrition system: production, processing, distribution, acquisition, preparation, consumption, digestion, transport, and metabolism.