Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 507–516 | Cite as

Changing SNAP-Participation Trends Among Farmworker Households in the U.S., 2003–2012

  • Alvaro Medel-Herrero
  • J. Paul Leigh
Original Paper


We investigated Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation among citizen, documented and undocumented immigrant hired crop farmworkers for ten recent years. We analyzed population representative data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey for 2003–2012 (N = 18,243 households). Time-chart, simple mean differences, and logistic regressions described farmworker household participation in SNAP. The 2008 financial crisis almost doubled SNAP-participation by agriculture households (6.5% in 2003–2007 vs. 11.3% in 2008–2012). The increasing SNAP-participation was found for citizen, documented and undocumented immigrant households. We found low participation among documented (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56–0.8) and undocumented immigrants (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.54–0.74) compared to citizens. Low odds ratios (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.55–0.89) were found for Hispanic-citizens as compared with non-Hispanic white-citizens. Our results may help inform the debate surrounding the effects of the financial crisis on SNAP-participation and on differences in participation among citizens, immigrants, Hispanics and non-Hispanics, the latter suggesting ethnic farmworker disparities in SNAP-participation.


SNAP participation Food Stamps Farmworkers Nutrition programs and policies 



JPL acknowledges partial support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2U54OH007550-11.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain data concerning human participants or animals collected by either of the authors. Specific individuals within the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) cannot be identified. The NAWS data do not require special consideration by Human Subjects Ethics Committees because exemption #4 from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) involving publically available data applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Health and the EnvironmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health Sciences, Center for Healthcare Policy and ResearchUniversity of California Davis School of MedicineDavisUSA

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