Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in Mexican Immigrant Families: The Impact of the Outreach Initiative

Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Vanessa Wight, Columbia University

We study the factors associated with food insecurity and participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Mexican immigrant families in the US. Estimates from analyses that control for a rich set of economic, demographic, and geographic variables show that children in Mexican immigrant families are more likely to be food insecure than children in native families, but are less likely to participate in SNAP. Further, more vulnerable groups that are at a higher risk of food insecurity are the least likely to participate in SNAP. Our analysis suggests that the US Department of Agriculture outreach initiative and SNAP expansion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased SNAP participation of the mixed status Mexican families, but there was no corresponding decline in food insecurity among children in these families.

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Presented in Session 149: Child Obesity and Food Insecurity