Food assistance and family routines in three American Cities
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.
KeywordsFamily routines Food assistance Three City Study
JEL ClassificationI3 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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