Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Improving Efficiency and Access in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
(Poverty and Income Policy)

Friday, November 13, 2015: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Zamora (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Lisa Dragoset, Mathematica Policy Research
Panel Chairs:  Scott Cody, Mathematica Policy Research
Discussants:  Brynne Keith-Jennings, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

Effects of Eliminating the SNAP Interview on Client and Worker Outcomes
Gretchen Rowe, Andrew Gothro, Elizabeth Brown, Lisa Dragoset and Megan Eguchi, Mathematica Policy Research

An Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in SNAP
Claire Wilson, Brittany McGill, Carol Trippe, Rachel Gaddes, Brian Estes, Meg Tucker and Chrystine Tadler, Insight Policy Research

Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in SNAP
Gregory Mills1, Tracy Vericker2, Heather Koball2, Kye Lippold2, Laura Wheaton1 and Sam Elkin3, (1)Urban Institute, (2)The Urban Institute, (3)MEF Associates

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s largest food assistance program, has undergone unprecedented growth—increasing from 17 million recipients in 2000 to more than 46 million recipients in 2014. However, while states are faced with serving a growing number of clients they also have encountered increasing fiscal and political pressures to reduce the program’s administrative costs and increase efficiency during this period. This panel discusses results from three studies commissioned by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) that explore how various policies and programs could affect the efficiency of and access to SNAP. The studies presented are: (1) the evaluation of the effects of eliminating the SNAP eligibility interview on client and worker outcomes, such as program access, benefit levels, error rates, and administrative costs; (2) the evaluation of how community-based organizations’ (CBOs) involvement in the eligibility and application process effect program access and administrative costs; and (3) the evaluation of the effects of churning (defined as recipients reentering the program within four months of exiting) on program access and administrative costs associated with case closings and re-openings. This panel directly relates to the conference theme of evidence-based policy because all three research studies were commissioned by FNS to better understand potential ways of reducing costs and increasing efficiency in SNAP, while continuing to serve a growing number of clients.
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