Project: The Effect of Food Assistance Programs on Alternative Poverty Measures
Award Year: 2011
Amount of award, fiscal 2011: $171,000.00
Institution: The Urban Institute
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This project will assess the extent to which nutrition programs reduced poverty before, during, and after the 2007-2009 recession. Poverty will be measured using the U.S. Census Bureau’s current version of the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). Unlike the official poverty measure, which considers only cash income, the SPM includes all key family resources, including near-cash income from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The SPM also updates poverty thresholds based on the new definition of resources, variation in needs by housing tenure and health spending, and geographic variation in housing costs. Poverty estimates will be generated using a detailed microsimulation model—TRIM3—together with data from the Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). A key advantage of the TRIM3 microsimulation model is that it corrects for the substantial underreporting of program participation in the CPS. The results of this project will shed light not only on the current effectiveness of nutrition assistance programs in reducing poverty but also on their potential to further reduce poverty through policies that increase program participation rates.
Topic: Poverty, School Lunch and Breakfast, SNAP/Food Stamp Program, WIC