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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: De Marco, Allison
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    During the Great Recession the US experienced its longest and worst recession since the Great Depression, evidenced by high unemployment, unprecedented job losses, and long-term unemployment. Particularly hard hit, in North Carolina the unemployment rate remained higher for longer than the four previous recessions (NC Employment Security Commission, 2011). This study uses data from the North Carolina sample of the Family Life Project, a representative sample of predominantly low-income, rural families oversampled for African American and low income families, to examine how the economic downturn impacted residents’ employment in the rural South and how those conditions are related to economic strain and food insecurity. There is a comparative dearth of information available on rural poverty, however, it is critical to address these issues because of disproportionate rates of poverty and limited access to services in low wealth, rural communities. We use NC data from the 36-month home visit, collected 7/06 – 10/07, to capture conditions prior to the recession and the 58-month home...

    During the Great Recession the US experienced its longest and worst recession since the Great Depression, evidenced by high unemployment, unprecedented job losses, and long-term unemployment. Particularly hard hit, in North Carolina the unemployment rate remained higher for longer than the four previous recessions (NC Employment Security Commission, 2011). This study uses data from the North Carolina sample of the Family Life Project, a representative sample of predominantly low-income, rural families oversampled for African American and low income families, to examine how the economic downturn impacted residents’ employment in the rural South and how those conditions are related to economic strain and food insecurity. There is a comparative dearth of information available on rural poverty, however, it is critical to address these issues because of disproportionate rates of poverty and limited access to services in low wealth, rural communities. We use NC data from the 36-month home visit, collected 7/06 – 10/07, to capture conditions prior to the recession and the 58-month home visit, collected 7/08 – 12/09, to capture conditions during the recession. During the recession 36% of these NC families reported a major employment change (starting/stopping a job, major changes in responsibilities, such as a promotion/demotion, significant change in hours); 23.5% went from working a standard to a nonstandard shift (evening, night, and rotating); while over 10% saw their employment become less stable, moving from permanent to temporary jobs. In regression analysis, maternal education and rurality predicted work distress. Work distress was related to increased economic strain and lead to increased use TANF, SNAP, and Unemployment Insurance. Social support and SNAP use buffered experiences of food insecurity. This knowledge will enable policy-makers to make more informed decisions about how to modify policies and programs to better match the situations present in these communities.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grusky, David B.; Wimer, Christopher; Wright, Rachel; Fong, Kelley
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This qualitative study examines low-income San Franciscans’ decision-making around using or not using food from food banks and government food assistance programs. This project will help understand the in-depth processes that underlie low-income people’s decisions around food assistance, and therefore help public and private stakeholders improve systems of food assistance delivery, particularly around increasing take-up of healthy foods like fresh produce. Using approximately 60 in-depth interviews with low-income San Franciscans, this study will address the following questions: (1) What are the most prevalent reasons for non-use among low-income individuals who do not access food bank services? (2) How do the prevalence of these reasons differ by groups of individuals (parents of schoolchildren, residents of low-income housing projects, and unemployed individuals)? (3) How and why do non-users interface with other government food assistance programs like food stamps, school meals, etc.? And (4) How and why do nonusers utilize cheap, unhealthy food like fast food and “junk” food...

    This qualitative study examines low-income San Franciscans’ decision-making around using or not using food from food banks and government food assistance programs. This project will help understand the in-depth processes that underlie low-income people’s decisions around food assistance, and therefore help public and private stakeholders improve systems of food assistance delivery, particularly around increasing take-up of healthy foods like fresh produce. Using approximately 60 in-depth interviews with low-income San Franciscans, this study will address the following questions: (1) What are the most prevalent reasons for non-use among low-income individuals who do not access food bank services? (2) How do the prevalence of these reasons differ by groups of individuals (parents of schoolchildren, residents of low-income housing projects, and unemployed individuals)? (3) How and why do non-users interface with other government food assistance programs like food stamps, school meals, etc.? And (4) How and why do nonusers utilize cheap, unhealthy food like fast food and “junk” food vs. the healthier food, including fresh produce, that they might get from food bank sites? (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mabli, James; Ferrerosa, Carolina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The central objective of this study is to examine the relationship between SNAP caseloads and the economy from 2000 to 2008. Three specific goals are to:

    • Examine the relationship between SNAP caseloads and the unemployment rate and selected policy factors from 2000 to 2008
    • Characterize the relationship between SNAP caseloads and a set of five alternative measures of labor underutilization from 2000 to 2008, including those that measure discouraged and underemployed workers
    • Determine how these relationships differ by characteristics of participant households including household composition and income

    Although the focus is on economic measures, all analyses account for changes in a small set of program policies that prior studies have consistently shown to be correlated with SNAP caseloads. Using a combination of state administrative data and Current Population Survey (CPS) data, we examine factors affecting participation in SNAP from 2000 to 2008, expanding upon the existing research by extending the period of research two years through...

    The central objective of this study is to examine the relationship between SNAP caseloads and the economy from 2000 to 2008. Three specific goals are to:

    • Examine the relationship between SNAP caseloads and the unemployment rate and selected policy factors from 2000 to 2008
    • Characterize the relationship between SNAP caseloads and a set of five alternative measures of labor underutilization from 2000 to 2008, including those that measure discouraged and underemployed workers
    • Determine how these relationships differ by characteristics of participant households including household composition and income

    Although the focus is on economic measures, all analyses account for changes in a small set of program policies that prior studies have consistently shown to be correlated with SNAP caseloads. Using a combination of state administrative data and Current Population Survey (CPS) data, we examine factors affecting participation in SNAP from 2000 to 2008, expanding upon the existing research by extending the period of research two years through 2008. Policymakers will be able to use the results of this research to guide the development of effective strategies for increasing program participation, as well as to better understand how changes in the economy contribute to caseload changes. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mabli, James; Martin, Emily S.; Castner, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This study uses a unique combination of State panel data and qualitative interviews to examine the economic and policy factors associated with the sharp increase in the number of Food Stamp Program (FSP) participants between 2000 and 2006. This period is particularly interesting because the rise in participation between 2003 and 2006 occurred while the national economy was improving. Higher numbers of participants were associated with higher State unemployment rates and lower State labor force participation rates and minimum wages. The introduction of FSP policies designed to expand eligibility and ease reporting also increased the number of participants. In addition, program outreach efforts were associated with higher caseloads in times of low unemployment. Interviews with State FSP administrators and staff at community-based organizations reinforce the quantitative findings and point to declining local economic conditions and high-quality program outreach as the main sources of caseload growth. The Food Stamp Program was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (...

    This study uses a unique combination of State panel data and qualitative interviews to examine the economic and policy factors associated with the sharp increase in the number of Food Stamp Program (FSP) participants between 2000 and 2006. This period is particularly interesting because the rise in participation between 2003 and 2006 occurred while the national economy was improving. Higher numbers of participants were associated with higher State unemployment rates and lower State labor force participation rates and minimum wages. The introduction of FSP policies designed to expand eligibility and ease reporting also increased the number of participants. In addition, program outreach efforts were associated with higher caseloads in times of low unemployment. Interviews with State FSP administrators and staff at community-based organizations reinforce the quantitative findings and point to declining local economic conditions and high-quality program outreach as the main sources of caseload growth. The Food Stamp Program was renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in October 2008. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke; Wu, Liyun
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study examines changing levels of Unemployment Insurance (UI) eligibility and benefits receipt among low-educated, single mothers who entered unemployment between 1990 and 2005. It also examines changing participation in cash welfare and the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Data from 1990–94 and 2001–5 show that low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment experience an increase in UI eligibility but not an increase in UI benefits receipt, when compared to low-educated, single, childless women who enter unemployment. Because of declining cash assistance receipt during 2001–5, UI becomes a more common income support for this population than cash assistance. Further, the probability of accessing the FSP increases among low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment in 2001–5. As a result, the proportion of this population accessing benefits from at least one of these programs remains similar across the study period. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study examines changing levels of Unemployment Insurance (UI) eligibility and benefits receipt among low-educated, single mothers who entered unemployment between 1990 and 2005. It also examines changing participation in cash welfare and the Food Stamp Program (FSP). Data from 1990–94 and 2001–5 show that low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment experience an increase in UI eligibility but not an increase in UI benefits receipt, when compared to low-educated, single, childless women who enter unemployment. Because of declining cash assistance receipt during 2001–5, UI becomes a more common income support for this population than cash assistance. Further, the probability of accessing the FSP increases among low-educated, single mothers who enter unemployment in 2001–5. As a result, the proportion of this population accessing benefits from at least one of these programs remains similar across the study period. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a policy paper published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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