Project: Employment, Home Meal Production, Food Spending, and Food Security in Food Stamp Households
Award Year: 2003
Amount of award, fiscal 2003: $136,000.00
Institution: Tulane University
Principal Investigator: Donald Rose
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: Since the early 1990s, government policy, whether through changes in tax incentives or welfare reform, has sought to increase the employment rates of low-income women. At the same time, benefits provided by the Food Stamp Program have been based on the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan. This low-cost, nutritious food plan is based on the assumption that many foods are prepared from basic ingredients requiring substantial food preparation time. This type of food preparation may be burdensome in households with single, working parents. In order to better understand the at-home meal production process in low-income households, this study will examine the time inputs required for home meal production, and the tradeoffs between time and food costs. In addition, the relationships among labor force participation of the household meal preparer, food spending, and household food security will be examined.

Data from the 1996-97 National Food Stamp Program Survey will be used to assess the relationships among demographic characteristics, meal-preparer nutrition knowledge, food security, and employment status. Substitution possibilities between time and food inputs will be a focus of this effort. The relationships among labor force participation, food spending, and food insecurity will be investigated using data from the Food Security Supplement to the Current Population Survey.

Topic: SNAP/Food Stamp Program, Time Use
Dataset: Current Population Survey food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS), National Food Stamp Program Survey (NFSPS)
Rose, D. “Food Stamps, the Thrifty Food Plan, and Meal Preparation: The Importance of the Time Dimension for US Nutrition Policy,” Journal of Nutrition and Education Behavior, Vol. 39, Issue 4, July/August 2007.