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Time use and eating patterns of SNAP participants over the benefit month

Ji Yong Lee, Rodolfo Nayga (), Young Jo and Brandon Restrepo

Food Policy, 2022, vol. 106, issue C

Abstract: Understanding how SNAP participants spend their time in various activities over the benefit cycle can provide insights into ways to improve the effectiveness of the program and reduce the potential unintended negative effects of program participation. Using data from the 2006–2008 and 2014–2016 American Time Use Survey and Eating and Health Module, we revisit the SNAP benefit cycle issue by investigating if SNAP participants spend less time on home-based eating related activities (i.e., primary eating, food preparation, and grocery shopping) towards the end of the benefit cycle than comparable non-participants. We find that SNAP participants spend less time on food production activities in both periods—less time on food preparation in 2006–2008 and less time on shopping for groceries in 2014–2016—relative to comparable non-participants towards the end of the benefit month. Given the importance of time allocation, we then examine how SNAP participants allocate their time across various activities compared to comparable non-participants. We discuss the implications of our results in relation to these time use patterns over the benefit month.

Keywords: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Benefit cycle; Time use; American Time Use Survey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 D1 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Time Use and Eating Patterns of SNAP Participants over the Benefit Month (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2021.102186

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