An Exciting Time for Research on Nutrition Assistance Programs

Federal nutrition assistance programs are designed to promote dietary quality and improve household food security for a wide cross-section of Americans, with special attention to low-income families.

Information about the RIDGE program is available on the USDA RIDGE website

This page offers resources about:

Within each section, some information addresses multiple programs, and other information is specific to one of the three main program areas addressed by RIDGE:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

In previous years, rigorous research has been supported though USDA’s RIDGE program in collaboration with the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), University of Wisconsin-Madison; the Center for Regional Development, Purdue University; the Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University; American Indian Studies Program, University of Arizona; the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago; the Joint Center for Poverty Research, University of Chicago and Northwestern University; and the Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis.

There is great interest by policy-makers in nutrition assistance policy. For example, nutrition assistance programs were covered extensively in the final report by the bipartisan Congressionally-appointed National Commission on Hunger. In 2016, the House Agriculture Committee conducted a top-to-bottom review of the past, present, and future of SNAP.