The Food Safety Net After Welfare Reform: Use of Private and Public Food Assistance in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area
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This study uses a unique database of clients of private food providers in the Kansas City metropolitan area to document the use of private food assistance from January 1998 to May 2001. We show that, while the use of private food assistance is widespread in the Kansas City area, the frequency of food pantry use is low compared to food stamp use. One advantage of this database is that private food providers actually document the use of their services, so that it provides more reliable information about frequency and timing of food pantry use than most other studies, which must rely on providers' ability to recall patterns of use over time. We merge the data on clients of private food providers with data from Food Stamp Program administrative records, which allows us to compare use of the two types of food assistance, and examine the interactions between use of the two systems. While it was rare for recipients to receive both services in any given month, many of the same households received both types of food assistance at some time between 1998 and 2001. Almost 60 percent of food pantry recipients also received food stamps at some time during that period. However, this means that roughly 40% of food pantry client households did not receive food stamps during this time period, although their reported incomes suggest that they were eligible. A smaller percent of food stamp households relied on food pantries. Between 1998 and 2001, just over one-third visited a pantry at least once. With regard to timing of services, we find that households that access both systems primarily receive food stamps and food pantry assistance at the same time, or within a few months. This implies that these households are not substituting one form of assistance for the other, but rather accessing multiple types of assistance when necessary.
Mosley, j. M. and Tiehen, L. (2003) The Food Safety Net After Welfare Reform: Use of Private and Public Food Assistance in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Retrieved 10-14-09, from http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/publications/index.asp?ViewBy=Date