FoodStamps

FoodStamps - This PDF is a selection from a published...

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This PDF is a selection from a published volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research Volume Title: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States Volume Author/Editor: Robert A. Moffitt, editor Volume Publisher: University of Chicago Press Volume ISBN: 0-226-53356-5 Volume URL: http://www.nber.org/books/moff03-1 Conference Date: May 11-12, 2000 Publication Date: January 2003 Title: U.S. Food and Nutrition Programs Author: Janet Currie URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10257
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4.1 Introduction The U.S. government operates a wide variety of food and nutrition pro- grams (FANPs), which reach an estimated one out of every five Americans every day. 1 Most FANPs were developed with the primary goal of assuring adequate nutrient intakes in populations deemed to be at risk of undernu- trition. However, the nature of nutritional risk has changed over time from a situation in which significant numbers of Americans su ered food short- ages to one in which obesity is prevalent even among the homeless. For ex- ample, Luder et al. (1990) examined a sample of homeless shelter users in New York City and found that 39 percent were obese. This observation raises the question of whether supplying food is the most e ective way to address the nutritional needs of the majority of FANP recipients. A secondary goal of many FANPs is to improve the nutritional choices of recipients through nutrition education. This goal has received increas- ing attention in recent years, in response to the finding that many FANP recipients consumed diets su cient in calories but of poor quality. But the research reviewed in this chapter suggests that we still know little about 199 4 U.S. Food and Nutrition Programs Janet Currie Janet Currie is professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The author thanks Hillary Hoynes, Aaron Yelowitz, Robert Mo tt, and participants in the NBER conference on Means-Tested Social Programs for providing helpful comments. Jwa- hong Min provided excellent research assistance. This research was supported by the Na- tional Science Foundation (NSF) and by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHID), but these institutions do not necessarily endorse any of its findings. 1. See “Food and Nutrition Service Program Data” at fns1.usda.gov/fns/menu/about/pro- grams/progdata.htm.
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the best ways to improve the quality rather than the quantity of food con- sumed. In a country in which much of the social safety net is implemented at a state or even at a local level, an important third goal of federal FANPs is to provide a uniform, minimum, nationwide threshold below which assis- tance cannot fall. The safety-net role of FANPs is likely to become in- creasingly important in this era of welfare reform as states cut back on cash assistance and FANP benefits form an increasing proportion of the total aid provided to low-income families.
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2012 for the course PADP 8670 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at UGA.

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