SNAP Resources

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Gemse marktSNAP Food Security In-Depth Interview Study by Kathryn Edin, Melody Boyd, James Mabli, Jim Ohls, Julie Worthington, Sara Greene, Nicholas Redel, Swetha Sridharan

This report presents findings from the qualitative In-Depth Interview component of the SNAP Food Security (SNAPFS) study. The main SNAPFS study was conducted for the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA from October 2011 through September 2012 to examine the effects of the program on food security for SNAP households.

SNAP Households Must Balance Multiple Priorities To Achieve a Healthful Diet by Lisa Mancino and Joanne Guthrie

SNAP participants value nutrition as much as other consumers, but their time and money constraints complicate the task of making healthy food choices.  SNAP participants are more likely to shop just once a month and have a harder time getting to a grocery store.  Compared to other consumers, SNAP participants tend to be more pessimistic about the value of making dietary improvements.

Foods Typically Purchased by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Households by Steven Garasky, Kassim Mbwana, Andres Romualdo, Alex Tenaglio, Manan Roy

This study uses calendar year 2011 point-of-sale transaction data from a leading grocery retailer to examine the food choices of SNAP and non-SNAP households . On average, each month’s transaction data contained over 1 billion records of food items bought by 26.5 million households in 127 million unique transactions.

Woman buys yogurtCan Food Stamps Do More To Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective by Joanne Guthrie, Margaret Andrews, Elizabeth Frazão, Ephraim Leibtag, Biing-Hwan Lin, Lisa Mancino, Mark Nord, Mark Prell, David Smallwood, Jayachandran Variyam, and Michele Ver Ploeg

Food stamp recipients, like other Americans, struggle with nutrition problems associated with choice of foods, as well as amounts. This series of Economic Information Bulletins compiles evidence to help answer the question of whether the Food Stamp Program can do more to improve the food choices of participants.

Feasibility Study of Capturing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Purchases at the Point of Sale by Steven Garasky, Slava Katz, Kassim Mbwana, Samuel Ampaabeng, Joseph Llobrerra

This study examined the feasibility of creating a data collection system capable of directly and automatically providing USDA with item-level data on purchases made by SNAP households. Data would be captured at the point of sale from purchases made using EBT cards.

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2015 Annual Report by Victor Oliveira

This report uses preliminary data from USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine trends in U.S. food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2015 (October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015) and USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) data to examine trends in the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity in the United States through 2014.

Group Of Elementary Age Schoolchildren Eating Healthy Packed Lunch In Class

Annual and Monthly SNAP Participation Rates by Mark Prell, Constance Newman, and Erik Scherpf

A key aspect of SNAP is the extent to which it reaches its target population—the rate of participation among people who are eligible for SNAP benefits. This report estimates an annual SNAP participation rate, which counts the number of people who participated at some time during the year as a share of people who were eligible at some time during the year.

USDA SNAP for Researchers provides research published by the USDA; participation data; and data on allotments, income, and allowable deductions.


The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy choices within a limited budget and choose active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.  Visit the FY 2017 SNAP Education Plan Guidance, SNAP-Ed Interventions: A Toolkit for States,  and SNAP-Ed Connection to read more information about SNAP-Ed.

BECR_square2Uses of Behavioral Economics Nudges within Healthy Retail Interventions in the SNAP-Ed Program: Research Opportunities by Daniella Uslan, Jessica Soldavini, Molly De MarcoTerry Hartman, and Alice Ammerman.

In collaboration with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the BECR Center drafted a brief to discuss the potential research opportunities for using behavioral economics strategies within the SNAP-Ed Program.  This brief highlights text from the 2017 SNAP Education Plan Guidance.

BECR_square2Behavioral Economics in the Healthy Retail Environment: Working Within the SNAP-Ed Context by Alice AmmermanMolly De Marco, and Daniella Uslan

The Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) Southern Region at UNC- Chapel Hill recently presented a webinar on behavioral economics within the SNAP-Ed context.  The field of Behavioral Economics provides valuable insight in understanding people’s behaviors and decision-making processes. This webinar will introduce key concepts from Behavioral Economics and discuss how SNAP-Ed agencies can leverage these concepts to “nudge” consumers to make healthier food choices in a retail setting.

Materials: Slide deck /  Recording