Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 223–238 | Cite as

Food assistance and family routines in three American Cities

  • David C. RibarEmail author
  • Daniela Zapata


The major food assistance programs in the United States—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children—all share the fundamental goal of helping needy and vulnerable people obtain access to nutritious foods that they might not otherwise be able to afford, but the programs may also affect households’ well-being in other ways. In this study, we examine how the receipt of public and private food assistance is associated with regular family routines, using longitudinal data on low-income families with children from the Three City Study. Estimates from fixed-effects regression models indicate that WIC participation is positively associated with homework routines and consistent bed times. However, receipt of other assistance is not strongly associated with family routines.


Family routines Food assistance Three City Study 

JEL Classification

I3 J1 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program Cooperative Agreement no. 58-4000-2-0073. They thank Chuck Courtemanche, Christian Gregory, Chris Ruhm, seminar participants at the Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics and at Elon University, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the USDA or of their respective institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social ResearchUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.IMPAQ International, LLCWashingtonUSA

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