|Detailed Objective: This study provides updated estimates of food stamp trafficking using current
data and provides longitudinal comparison of the prevalence of trafficking before
and shortly after initial implementation of welfare reform. In 1995, the Food
and Nutrition Service created the first data-based, national estimate that about
$815 million was trafficked for cash from the Government by stores during fiscal
year 1993 (which amounts to just under 4 cents of every dollar of food stamp benefits
issued). The vast changes initiated by the landmark welfare reform legislation
may have changed the prevalence of trafficking, although the direction of the
change is uncertain. Welfare reform is changing the profile of program participants.
In addition, it mandated the use of electronic benefit transfer and the spread
of this technology (already about one-third the national caseload) may further
alter the prevalence of trafficking.
In March, 2000, the Food and Nutrition Service released the report "The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: An Update." The data and codebook are expected to be completed in March, 2001. The cost of the project, conducted by Macro International, Inc., is $199,921 in fiscal 1998.