Economics at your fingertips  

Who feels the calorie crunch and when? The impact of school meals on cyclical food insecurity

Michael Kuhn ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 166, issue C, 27-38

Abstract: Monthly welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) produce consistent cycles of expenditure and consumption among recipients. Food insecurity, health status, crime, poor behavior and test scores track these cycles. This paper leverages new data from the USDA—the FoodAPS survey—to better understand these cycles in three ways. First, I find that expenditure and consumption cycles are correlated within households–a fact not previously established. Second, I study diet quality over the benefit month, and find that it worsens, potentially compounding the harmful consequences of cyclical food insecurity. Third, I find that kids bear less of the burden of the consumption cycle than adults, and that much of this difference may be driven by school-meal programs. This finding suggests large potential gains in child welfare from expanding summer meal programs.

Keywords: SNAP; Consumption smoothing; Food security; School meal programs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 D14 D91 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Public Economics is currently edited by R. Boadway and J. Poterba

More articles in Journal of Public Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2019-10-15
Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:166:y:2018:i:c:p:27-38