Project: Improving Access to Food Stamps for Low-Income Working Households
Award Year: 1999
Amount of award, fiscal 1999: $178,433.00
Institution: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation
Principal Investigator: Howard Bloom
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: This work examines patterns of food stamp use and the relationship between food stamps, employment, food security, and material well-being among key subgroups of the working poor—primarily former cash welfare recipients. The project will use administrative and survey data collected as part of several current and prior evaluation projects by Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). These data will provide individual-level longitudinal information on the use of food stamps and cash assistance and benefit amounts over time, as well as information on earnings from unemployment insurance data, and detailed survey data on household food sufficiency, food expenditures, material hardship, family income, and job characteristics.

Historically, household participation in the Food Stamp Program and cash welfare have been closely related. Recent welfare reforms have focused on moving cash welfare recipients into the workforce. Many of these former cash welfare recipients remain eligible for food stamps, but do not receive them. There are a variety of factors that may explain the nonparticipation of low-income working families in the Food Stamp Program, including lack of information about eligibility, diversion practices by local welfare offices, recertification requirements, stigma, benefit levels that are too low to offset the transactions costs of application, or a self-perceived lack of need. This work will provide information on the relative importance of a number of reasons for the nonparticipation in the Food Stamp Program among low-income working families, as well as other factors related to Food Stamp Program effectiveness. A grant was awarded to MDRC at a cost of $178,433 in fiscal 1999. Its expected completion date is September 2001.

Topic: SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Henrichson, C., C. Miller, and C. Redcross. Food Stamp Use Among Former Welfare Recipients, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), February 2002.