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Accession Number PB2013-108323
Title Benefit Redemption Patterns in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Publication Date Feb 2011
Media Count 444p
Personal Author J. Henke L. Castner
Abstract The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet by increasing the dollars they have to spend on food. However, in 2008, during the heart of the economic recession, prices for food at home increased 6.4 percent over 2007 prices (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008) and the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), on which the SNAP benefit is set, increased 9.3 percent (USDA 2008). Also, unemployment reached 6.9 percent at the beginning of fiscal year 2009 and increased to 10.1 percent by the beginning of fiscal year 2010 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010). These factors put a substantial strain on lowincome households ability to purchase food, leading to record numbers of participants in SNAP and increased use of food banks and other emergency food assistance programs. Due to the quickly rising food prices, policymakers and advocates were concerned that households would need to spend more of their benefits earlier in the month and run out of funds to purchase food at the end of the month. To counter rising food prices and provide SNAP participants with sufficient resources to purchase food, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted in February 2009, raised the maximum SNAP benefit by 13.6 percent, effective April 2009. In this study, we seek to identify how spending patterns, such as the rate at which households spend their benefit, changed following the ARRA benefit increase and analyze how spending patterns differ across household characteristics and time.
Keywords Benefit redemption patterns
Federal assistance programs
Low income groups
Nutrition assistance programs
Program benefits
Statistical data
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP)

Source Agency Food and Nutrition Service
NTIS Subject Category 92C - Social Concerns
43C - Human Resources
91K - Social Services
57L - Nutrition
Corporate Author Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1318
Contract Number GS-10F-0050L

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