1932

Abstract

This review focuses on the health and nutrition impacts of food assistance programs. We focus particular attention on the United States, both because of the plethora of types of programs and associated variation and because spending on these programs is a large share of the nonmedical safety net there. We begin by reviewing the theoretical predictions concerning health and nutrition effects of these programs, also paying attention to potential mediators such as education and income. We then discuss program eligibility and size, both as caseload and in terms of spending. We next touch on identifying causal variation and opportunities for further research. The review concludes by discussing the existing literature in five broad areas: take-up and use of the programs; effects on nutrition and food consumption; other immediate effects on short-run health; impacts on other contemporaneous outcomes such as income and labor supply; and longer-run health and nutrition effects.

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2019-10-05
2024-06-19
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