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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: 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: Anderson, Theresa; Kirlin, John A.; Wiseman, Michael
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2012

    The SNAP-UI Data Linkage Project is an effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Economic Research Service (ERS) to link state-level administrative data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to examine the concurrent and sequential patterns in use of these program before and during the Great Recession. The project focuses on calendar years 2006 through 2009 and utilizes data from seven states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. The project has illuminated various issues with administrative data linkage, which this paper characterizes as the “Three C‘s” of administrative data: custody, confidentiality, and consistency.

    From the outset, ERS had three primary hypotheses: 1) The low rate of concurrent SNAP-UI receipt in existing data understates the total connection between SNAP and UI benefits because people tend to take up nutrition benefits only after UI claims are exhausted. 2) Both the concurrent and sequential links between...

    The SNAP-UI Data Linkage Project is an effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Economic Research Service (ERS) to link state-level administrative data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to examine the concurrent and sequential patterns in use of these program before and during the Great Recession. The project focuses on calendar years 2006 through 2009 and utilizes data from seven states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. The project has illuminated various issues with administrative data linkage, which this paper characterizes as the “Three C‘s” of administrative data: custody, confidentiality, and consistency.

    From the outset, ERS had three primary hypotheses: 1) The low rate of concurrent SNAP-UI receipt in existing data understates the total connection between SNAP and UI benefits because people tend to take up nutrition benefits only after UI claims are exhausted. 2) Both the concurrent and sequential links between SNAP and UI grew during the recession. 3) As the economy worsened, the lag between UI exhaustion and SNAP take-up declined. After the discussion of data issues, preliminary project results are presented (current as of December 2011). These early results confirm the first hypothesis but show that the sequential connection between the programs is not as large as expected. The second hypothesis is confirmed. The third hypothesis is still being explored. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Frank, Abbey; Lower-Basch, Elizabeth; Case, Annette
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Funding for workforce training programs is limited. Many of the traditional funding streams used to cover the costs of these programs have been cut, leaving administrators to think creatively about alternative funding sources. One possibility is the Food Stamp Employment and Training program (FSET), which supports employment and training services for food stamp participants. FSET funds are targeted toward providing services for non-working able-bodied recipients without children under age six, with a particular emphasis on nonworking able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), who are eligible for food stamps for only three months in a three-year period unless they meet a work requirement. In order to be eligible for food stamps, households have to meet income tests—unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or (in some places) general assistance. For example, a two-person household would have to have a gross monthly income below $1,430 to qualify for food stamps. Like other workforce training program participants, many adult, unemployed food stamp recipients face...

    Funding for workforce training programs is limited. Many of the traditional funding streams used to cover the costs of these programs have been cut, leaving administrators to think creatively about alternative funding sources. One possibility is the Food Stamp Employment and Training program (FSET), which supports employment and training services for food stamp participants. FSET funds are targeted toward providing services for non-working able-bodied recipients without children under age six, with a particular emphasis on nonworking able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), who are eligible for food stamps for only three months in a three-year period unless they meet a work requirement. In order to be eligible for food stamps, households have to meet income tests—unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or (in some places) general assistance. For example, a two-person household would have to have a gross monthly income below $1,430 to qualify for food stamps. Like other workforce training program participants, many adult, unemployed food stamp recipients face significant employment barriers. State and local agencies report that many food stamp employment and training participants have limited education and work experience, along with other barriers such as undiagnosed physical and mental health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness. (Nationally representative data are not available.) These characteristics are reported to be especially prevalent among the ABAWD population. This brief provides an overview of the FSET program and funding streams and discusses ways that workforce training programs can access FSET funds to improve the employability of FSET participants. (author abstract)

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