Nutrition Assistance and Food Insecurity in America: New Article in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

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AAEA member research released as debate begins about future of SNAP in new Farm Bill.

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Our article demonstrates, again, the profound positive impact SNAP has on vulnerable households in the United States.

As debate gets underway for the new Farm Bill, there could be major policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP. The federally-funded program provides financial assistance to low income Americans.

In a recent interview, new United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue suggested a shift in SNAP, which helped an estimated 44 million people in 2016.

“You know the essence of the Food Stamp Program was a temporary situation for someone who had lost their job temporarily,” Perdue said, “so there will probably be requirements to look for work or be working for work training.”

The effectiveness of SNAP when it comes to food insecurity in the U.S. is the focus of new research by three AAEA members. “Partial Identification for Evaluating Food Assistance Programs: A Case Study of the Casual Impact of SNAP on Food Insecurity” by Craig Gundersen (University of Illinois), Brent Kreider (Iowa State University), and John Pepper (University of Virginia) has been selected to appear in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Gundersen, who has done extensive research on SNAP and its effectiveness, calls the program “the central component of the social safety net against food insecurity.”

“Our article demonstrates, again, the profound positive impact SNAP has on vulnerable households in the United States,” Gundersen said. “This should be kept in mind whenever changes to SNAP are being proposed.”

If you are interested in reading this latest research, or setting up an interview, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

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Jay Saunders
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