Call for Proposals on the Economics of Food Security, Nutrition, and Health

How do nutrition assistance programs, the location of stores and the types of food they sell, and other aspects of the built environment affect diet, nutrition, and food security? A new 2-year research initiative by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will investigate these questions.

The NBER initiative, sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service, will leverage data from USDA’s new National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) to address issues related to food security, nutrition, and health in the United States.

Researchers who would like to take part in this initiative are encouraged to submit their proposals by Jan. 15, 2016 to:

FoodAPS is a nationally representative survey that collected data on food acquisitions over a 7-day period from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, income eligible non-participant households, and higher income SNAP ineligible households. The survey also contains information on participation in other nutrition assistance programs, the location and store type where food was purchased, payment method, prices and nutrition information on purchased items, administrative and self-reports reports of SNAP, school nutrition programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and SNAP benefit amounts, and the length of time since the last disbursement of SNAP benefits. The data also contain an administrative match that can be used to verify household reports of SNAP participation. The data make it possible to study differences in food purchases that are associated with program participation, the locations of store types and store pricing, and other related factors.

For this initiative, priority will be given to proposals that explore questions related to SNAP, child nutrition (including child nutrition programs), and WIC. Potential research topics for this initiative include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The role of food access in child nutrition
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the local food environment
  • Understanding food insecurity
  • Private food charities, economic conditions, and food choice
  • Provider responses to federal food programs
  • Reporting of program benefits and participation

For information about the project and submission guidelines, please visit:

To learn more about FoodAPS, view NCCOR’s March 2015 Connect & Explore Webinar  and related blog post.

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