The Effect of SNAP on Food Purchases and Family Nutrition

Does enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) encourage families to purchase healthier foods and thereby increase the nutrition of those families enrolled in the program?

To answer this central question, this study will use an event-study design coupled with new, high-scale commercial transaction data from a grocery retailer to provide precise evidence on the effect of SNAP receipt on the amount and composition of food purchases. The study will generate evidence on the effects of SNAP enrollment from early childhood through adulthood.

Evidence

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Overview

Justine Hastings, Ryan Kessler, and Jesse M. Shapiro of Brown University released a working paper analyzing the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on nutritional quality of purchased foods. SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program, giving approximately 40 million Americans benefits that can be used to purchase food for at-home consumption.

How are SNAP Benefits Spent? Evidence from a Retail PanelOverview

Professors Justine Hastings and Jesse M. Shapiro of Brown University released a working paper analyzing the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on household spending.