Hunger studies

Are USDA food assistance programs working?

Parke E. Wilde, assistant professor at the Friedman School, is one of eight researchers from around the country to receive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to evaluate USDA-administered food assistance programs.

Parke E. Wilde © VITO ALUIA

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the $1.3 million in grants and cooperative agreements for projects in California, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Texas.

Wilde will use the $75,000 award to analyze the relationship between food stamp program benefits and household spending decisions for food eaten at home and away from home and the implications of those decisions for household food security.

“USDA’s food assistance programs increase food security and reduce hunger in our communities by providing access to healthful, nutritious food to children and low-income individuals,” Johanns said. “This research will help ensure that the programs are effectively meeting the changing needs of the people they are designed to serve.”

Other research projects will examine school meal programs, school snack bars and vending machines, how states administer food programs, the effects of food stamp policy on welfare policy and how and why people apply for food stamps.