Public Policy and Food Insecurity among Children

Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Vanessa Wight, Columbia University

The objective of this paper is to study the role of public policies in reducing food insecurity among children. Over the past decade, there have been several changes in eligibility as well as generosity of public assistance programs, in particular programs for children. Using data from the 2001–2011 CPS Food Security Supplement, we will study the relationship between food insecurity among children and Food Stamps/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), welfare programs, and programs specifically linked to children, namely childcare subsidies and Head Start. Our aim is to study the extent to which the generosity and accessibility of safety net programs have reduced the prevalence and severity of food insecurity among children. Our focus on the recent period allows us to investigate if social programs and policies had as large an effect on food insecurity during the Great Recession as they had in the past.

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Presented in Poster Session 4