SNAP is a USDA program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Due to COVID-19, the USDA has granted states significant program flexibilities and contingencies to best serve program participants. While many resources outline these flexibilities and provide some comparison, we aim to provide a rigorous and standardized state-by-state study on the administration of these flexibilities to determine how these policy levers affect food insecurity.
**Our Research Question:**
What is the nature and distribution of state-level responses to waivers and flexibilites granted by changes in federal laws due to COVID-19 concerning the Food and Nutrition Service’s SNAP Program?
We utilize standard policy surveillance and legal mapping methodology to guide our work. This includes conducting background research on state-based policies, identifying variation in responses across states, developing a coding manual to increase the accuracy of legal data coding, consulting with policy advisory groups to obtain feedback on data sources and our coding manual, extracting data from sources, legal coding of documents (i.e. administrative memos and press releases), checking against existing data sources for quality control, and analyzing coded data.
Data represents standardized extractions of legal information contained within state-level, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) waivers issued due to COVID-19 between March 2020 and June 2020. The data describes state-by-state differences in SNAP program administration for all 50 states, D.C., and two U.S. Territories. The data can be linked to other state-level data sources to analyze how SNAP waivers influence program outcomes and food insecurity during COVID-19.