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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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  • Individual Author: Polit, Denise F.; London, Andrew S.; Martinez, John M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Despite the strength of the American economy in the past few years, food insecurity and hunger continue to affect millions of American families. Drawing on 1998-1999 survey and ethnographic data from the Urban Change study (a multicomponent study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in four large cities), this paper describes the food security of mother-headed families who were living in highly disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and who had received or were currently receiving cash welfare benefits. The families of four groups of women were compared: those who, at the time of the interview, worked and were no longer receiving welfare; those who combined welfare and work; nonworking welfare recipients; and those who neither worked nor were then receiving welfare. The survey results indicated that food insecurity in the prior year was high in all groups. Overall, about half the families were food insecure, and hunger was found in slightly more than 15 percent of the families. Moreover, in nearly one-third of the families there were food hardships that affected the...

    Despite the strength of the American economy in the past few years, food insecurity and hunger continue to affect millions of American families. Drawing on 1998-1999 survey and ethnographic data from the Urban Change study (a multicomponent study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in four large cities), this paper describes the food security of mother-headed families who were living in highly disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and who had received or were currently receiving cash welfare benefits. The families of four groups of women were compared: those who, at the time of the interview, worked and were no longer receiving welfare; those who combined welfare and work; nonworking welfare recipients; and those who neither worked nor were then receiving welfare. The survey results indicated that food insecurity in the prior year was high in all groups. Overall, about half the families were food insecure, and hunger was found in slightly more than 15 percent of the families. Moreover, in nearly one-third of the families there were food hardships that affected the children’s diets. Food insecurity was most prevalent among families where the mother had neither employment income nor welfare benefits. Food insecurity was lowest among the families where the mothers were working and no longer getting welfare, but even in this group 44.5 percent were food insecure, and nearly 15 percent had experienced hunger. Data from in-depth ethnographic interviews indicate that, in this population, women who are food secure nevertheless expend considerable energy piecing together strategies to ensure that there is an adequate amount of food available for themselves and their children. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Kwakye, Isaac
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 placed a federal time limit on the receipt of cash assistance and encouraged states to move welfare recipients off the rolls and into work, which was expected to place pressure on the federal Food Stamp Program (FSP) — a system designed to prevent hunger among the nation’s low-income population. In addition, PRWORA limited the extent to which able-bodied adults without dependent children (hereafter, adults without children) and immigrants could receive food stamps (some states, including California and Florida, used state funds to mitigate the impact of these changes, however). How did food stamp participation change during this period of new restrictions on both cash assistance and food stamp benefits? This report describes the dynamics of participation in the FSP: how quickly people enter and leave the program, how likely they are to return to it, and how the outcomes for those measures vary for different groups. The report analyzes data from January 1993 through December 2001 in...

    The passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996 placed a federal time limit on the receipt of cash assistance and encouraged states to move welfare recipients off the rolls and into work, which was expected to place pressure on the federal Food Stamp Program (FSP) — a system designed to prevent hunger among the nation’s low-income population. In addition, PRWORA limited the extent to which able-bodied adults without dependent children (hereafter, adults without children) and immigrants could receive food stamps (some states, including California and Florida, used state funds to mitigate the impact of these changes, however). How did food stamp participation change during this period of new restrictions on both cash assistance and food stamp benefits? This report describes the dynamics of participation in the FSP: how quickly people enter and leave the program, how likely they are to return to it, and how the outcomes for those measures vary for different groups. The report analyzes data from January 1993 through December 2001 in four large, urban counties that are part of MDRC’s Project on Devolution and Urban Change: Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Heflin, Colleen; London, Andrew S.; Scott, Ellen K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Despite decades of research, little is known about the contours of material hardship and how the social processes underlying specific domains of hardship are similar and different. We use qualitative interview data to examine five different domains of material hardship: housing, bill-paying, food, medical, and clothing hardships. While mothers use social program participation, reliance on social networks, and individual strategies to mitigate hardships, the dominance of these strategies and their specific applications differ across hardship domains. These results complement recent research that identifies each domain of hardship as unique and suggest that domain-specific hardship mitigation approaches are necessary. (Author abstract)

    Despite decades of research, little is known about the contours of material hardship and how the social processes underlying specific domains of hardship are similar and different. We use qualitative interview data to examine five different domains of material hardship: housing, bill-paying, food, medical, and clothing hardships. While mothers use social program participation, reliance on social networks, and individual strategies to mitigate hardships, the dominance of these strategies and their specific applications differ across hardship domains. These results complement recent research that identifies each domain of hardship as unique and suggest that domain-specific hardship mitigation approaches are necessary. (Author abstract)

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