FNS Documents & Resources
Feasibility Study of Capturing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Purchases at the Point of Sale
This study examined the feasibility of creating a data collection system capable of directly and automatically providing USDA with item-level data on purchases made by SNAP households. Data would be captured at the point of sale from purchases made using EBT cards.
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.