Magazine article Amber Waves

Investigating Temporal Effects on Measured SNAP Participation Rates

Magazine article Amber Waves

Investigating Temporal Effects on Measured SNAP Participation Rates

Article excerpt

USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits for purchasing foods at authorized food stores to families who meet income and other eligibility criteria. In an average month of fiscal year 2015, 45.8 million people participated in SNAP. However, not all eligible households apply for SNAP. Some people may not realize they are eligible; others may not want assistance; and others may believe their economic situation will improve in the near future.

The SNAP participation rate-the share of eligible individuals who choose to participate in SNAP-will differ depending on the timeframe used to measure eligibility and participation. USDA calculates the official SNAP participation rate for an average month in a year. Yet, most Federal survey data that measure SNAP participation are based on an annual timeframe. For example, respondents are asked whether they participated in SNAP at any time during the year by the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey. ERS analysis found that the SNAP participation rate is lower when measured annually, or "at some time during the year," than if it is measured for an "average month." More individuals are eligible at some time during the year than in an average month. And more individuals participate at some time during the year than in an average month, but the higher number of annual participants (compared with average-month participants) is not as big as the higher number of annually eligible individuals. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.