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Abstract

Low-income households use informal food sharing as a means of coping with limited resources. This paper documents the importance of informal food sharing for low-income groups. Specifically we study the relationship between household food security status, SNAP participation and food sharing behaviors. Using the USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) data, we find that food-secure SNAP participants tend to receive more free meals than food-secure nonparticipants with incomes below poverty line, while food-insecure SNAP participants tend to receive more free meals than food-insecure nonparticipants with income above 185% poverty line.

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