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Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Awards to Conduct Economic Research on the Joint Contributions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Unemployment Insurance to the Nation’s Social Safety Net

Post Date

December 15th 2009

Application Due Date

February 17th 2010

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)


Funding Activity Categories

Food and Nutrition
Income Security and Social Services

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories

State Governments
Public and State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
Private Institutions of Higher Education


  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $100000 - $500000

Grant Description

SUMMARY: The Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (FANRP) of the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) announces the availability of funds and a request for applications to conduct research on operational issues about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program or FSP) and its support for the working poor. In particular, ERS seeks research that addresses: (a) operational issues regarding SNAP participation decisions and the dynamics of program participation among low-income households with workers; and (b) the interactions between receipt of SNAP benefits and State Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, especially during the current recession. Ensuring SNAP participation among eligible households is a key SNAP management concern. Furthermore, prior research has shown that, as a group, eligible households with earners participate in SNAP at lower-than-average rates, and this behavior may carry over into periods of unemployment. Available national survey data are generally inadequate for timely analysis of SNAP use among those made jobless by the recession. ERS believes the shortcomings of available national data can be addressed through creative use of administrative files. Linking program administrative data from SNAP and UI programs offers the research advantages of large sample size, considerable detail on inter-temporal use patterns, and support for analyses sensitive to State policy context and the character and impact of local (i.e. sub-state) economic developments. Such analyses can provide information that will enable increased program efficiency by identifying factors affecting households’ decisions to apply for SNAP benefits relative to other available resources, as well as the interplay and sequencing of government support and labor market decisions. Given the absence of a national longitudinal administrative database covering SNAP/FSP participants, this work must be carried out with data held at the State level. ERS seeks proposals from State and academic research organizations with access to SNAP/FSP, UI, and possibly other program records for the development of appropriate databases and subsequent analyses of the impact of the current recession on SNAP take-up and use, both alone and in concert with other benefits, most notably UI.

Contact Information

  • Agency

    Department of Agriculture

  • Office:

    Economic Research Service

  • Agency Contact:

    David Smallwood
    Deputy Dir for Food Asst. Res.
    Phone 202-694-5466

  • Agency Mailing Address:


  • Agency Email Address:

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