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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Atasoy, Sibel
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2009

    This dissertation is composed of three essays that analyze the significance of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) for low-income households. The first essay entitled “Intensity of Food Stamp Use and Transient and Chronic Poverty: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics” examines the impact of intensity of use of FSP benefits on household exposure to transient and chronic poverty with respect to food and housing expenditures. The study finds that FSP is used for both long-term expenditure support and as a smoothing mechanism before the welfare reform, and only for smoothing expenditures after the welfare reform. Factors that influence both components of poverty are number of children, human capital, minority status and local economic conditions. Another finding is that shorter recertification periods reduce the length of FSP use, and indirectly result in higher poverty.

    The second essay entitled “The End of the Paper Era in the Food Stamp Program: The Impact of Electronic Benefits on Program Participation” documents the impact of the implementation of the statewide...

    This dissertation is composed of three essays that analyze the significance of the Food Stamp Program (FSP) for low-income households. The first essay entitled “Intensity of Food Stamp Use and Transient and Chronic Poverty: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics” examines the impact of intensity of use of FSP benefits on household exposure to transient and chronic poverty with respect to food and housing expenditures. The study finds that FSP is used for both long-term expenditure support and as a smoothing mechanism before the welfare reform, and only for smoothing expenditures after the welfare reform. Factors that influence both components of poverty are number of children, human capital, minority status and local economic conditions. Another finding is that shorter recertification periods reduce the length of FSP use, and indirectly result in higher poverty.

    The second essay entitled “The End of the Paper Era in the Food Stamp Program: The Impact of Electronic Benefits on Program Participation” documents the impact of the implementation of the statewide Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system on household participation behavior in the entire period of nationwide implementation. The major finding is that the switch from paper coupons to EBT cards induces participation among eligible households, most likely by reducing the stigma associated with FSP participation. The effect of the EBT system on participation probabilities is the largest among households residing in the rural South, those not headed by a single mother or those with a White household head.

    The third essay entitled “The Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation: A Lagged Dependent Variable Approach” investigates the existence of state dependence and its sources by analyzing the dynamics of participation in the FSP using a lagged dependent variable approach. Results show that FSP receipt in the previous period is an important determinant of current FSP receipt. Estimated persistence rates declined significantly after 1996, suggesting that long-term welfare dependency was reduced after the welfare reform, at least with respect to the FSP. The source of state dependence in FSP participation among low-income households is mostly structural implying that a welfare trap does exist for these households. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meldrim, Arthur; Callaway, William; Garceau, Christopher; Conlin, Stephen
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2012

    Our research aims to improve how farmers’ markets within Worcester could address food security and raise awareness. Through surveys and interviews, we gathered an understanding of the situation and recommended organizing Worcester markets in a common direction by implementing socially effective, entrepreneurial methods to address the food security dilemma, by obtaining additional third-party funds. (author abstract)

    Our research aims to improve how farmers’ markets within Worcester could address food security and raise awareness. Through surveys and interviews, we gathered an understanding of the situation and recommended organizing Worcester markets in a common direction by implementing socially effective, entrepreneurial methods to address the food security dilemma, by obtaining additional third-party funds. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Colantonio, Angela
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    Food insecurity is defined as not having the resources to obtain enough safe, nutritionally adequate food in socially acceptable ways to support an active, healthy life. A new approach to emergency food assistance is needed, and researchers have encouraged the exploration of empowerment, self-efficacy, and goal setting as a means of better understanding and preventing food insecurity. The study aim is to examine the association between food insecurity and self-efficacy, and evaluate the ability of a new food pantry model (Freshplace) to increase the food security and self-efficacy of members. A randomized control trial comparing Freshplace to a control group was completed. The survey instrument used for the evaluation included a new self-efficacy for food security scale and the USDA Food Security Module. The results of this study reveal an opportunity to further refine the Freshplace program to more effectively promote food security and help food pantry members become more self-sufficient. This study suggests that methods to increase self-efficacy will be an essential component...

    Food insecurity is defined as not having the resources to obtain enough safe, nutritionally adequate food in socially acceptable ways to support an active, healthy life. A new approach to emergency food assistance is needed, and researchers have encouraged the exploration of empowerment, self-efficacy, and goal setting as a means of better understanding and preventing food insecurity. The study aim is to examine the association between food insecurity and self-efficacy, and evaluate the ability of a new food pantry model (Freshplace) to increase the food security and self-efficacy of members. A randomized control trial comparing Freshplace to a control group was completed. The survey instrument used for the evaluation included a new self-efficacy for food security scale and the USDA Food Security Module. The results of this study reveal an opportunity to further refine the Freshplace program to more effectively promote food security and help food pantry members become more self-sufficient. This study suggests that methods to increase self-efficacy will be an essential component of the evidence-based food pantry model resulting from this research. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hill, Kim; Zhang, Yidou
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2014

    Serving the interests of our client, Resourceful Communities of the Conservation Fund, our project investigates ways to better connect low-resource producers and low-income consumers of fresh produce in 31 low-income counties in NE North Carolina. To better characterize barriers rural producers and consumers face to produce and access healthy food, we conducted three separate analyses. A general linear model statistical analysis based on the USDA Food Environment Atlas data was used to identify significant demographic and socioeconomic variables that affect food access at the macro-level. For a qualitative analysis, surveys and interviews were used to define barriers producers and consumers face on the intra-county scale. Using Geographic Information Systems, a spatial analysis was developed to understand spatial patterns of food deserts and access barriers. The qualitative and spatial analyses were focused on two low-income counties: Beaufort County and Washington County, NC Community stakeholders, local food producers, consumers, and grocery retailers were interviewed. The...

    Serving the interests of our client, Resourceful Communities of the Conservation Fund, our project investigates ways to better connect low-resource producers and low-income consumers of fresh produce in 31 low-income counties in NE North Carolina. To better characterize barriers rural producers and consumers face to produce and access healthy food, we conducted three separate analyses. A general linear model statistical analysis based on the USDA Food Environment Atlas data was used to identify significant demographic and socioeconomic variables that affect food access at the macro-level. For a qualitative analysis, surveys and interviews were used to define barriers producers and consumers face on the intra-county scale. Using Geographic Information Systems, a spatial analysis was developed to understand spatial patterns of food deserts and access barriers. The qualitative and spatial analyses were focused on two low-income counties: Beaufort County and Washington County, NC Community stakeholders, local food producers, consumers, and grocery retailers were interviewed. The statistical analysis focused both on 31 target North Carolina counties and on the entire Eastern Coastal plain.

    Two general linear models revealed that persistent poverty counties and counties experiencing population loss were more likely to experience little or no access to grocery stores. Race was also a factor, particularly within North Carolina where minorities are more vulnerable to food insecurity. Both Washington and Beaufort Counties exhibit a high level of economic and demographic stratification. Two-thirds of consumers from the survey had problems stretching their food budget, and identified a weekly food box at low or no-cost as the best intervention. Retail grocery stores already can and do buy local food. However, retailers buy locally according to the season and price. Major barriers to connecting low-resource producers and low-income consumers were identified as the decrease in the number of small farms, increasing bureaucracy, high cost of entry, and historical divisions between ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Using the geographic and socio-economic barriers, the spatial analysis identified three food deserts, in SE Beaufort County, NE Beaufort County, and SW Washington County and the main drivers for each. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Van Buren, John
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2014

    Urban gardening has become a very popular trend in the last few years in both affluent neighborhoods as a form of relaxation and in impoverished areas as a form of hunger relief. In impoverished areas, urban gardens are usually exclusively advertised as a solution to limited food access; however, there is a naive belief that these gardens are effective forms of mass food production. Presently, these gardens are not productive enough to globally effect food production and the environment. However, to the communities surrounding the gardens, the effects are immense. Urban gardens are cheap and effective solutions for many of the problems associated with poverty and food deserts. Some of the issues I will address are: obesity, education, social interactions, income supplementation, health issues, dangerous neighborhoods, and refugee assimilation.

    The overall approach will be based on public health and the health of the community. I will address the physical and psychological effects of urban gardens, but I will also touch upon the effects on the ecology and psychology of the...

    Urban gardening has become a very popular trend in the last few years in both affluent neighborhoods as a form of relaxation and in impoverished areas as a form of hunger relief. In impoverished areas, urban gardens are usually exclusively advertised as a solution to limited food access; however, there is a naive belief that these gardens are effective forms of mass food production. Presently, these gardens are not productive enough to globally effect food production and the environment. However, to the communities surrounding the gardens, the effects are immense. Urban gardens are cheap and effective solutions for many of the problems associated with poverty and food deserts. Some of the issues I will address are: obesity, education, social interactions, income supplementation, health issues, dangerous neighborhoods, and refugee assimilation.

    The overall approach will be based on public health and the health of the community. I will address the physical and psychological effects of urban gardens, but I will also touch upon the effects on the ecology and psychology of the neighborhood, urban and suburban planning and its accompanying laws, environmental psychology, and environmental education. I will initially detail some of the consequences associated with living in an impoverished area. I will use the various research and case studies performed, as well as some of my own observations working in these areas. I will then compile the individual research of various solutions to food deserts and assemble them into an analysis of the overall beneficial effects of urban gardens. (author abstract)

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