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Abstract

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs that together affect the lives of millions of people. About one in four Americans participates in at least one of these programs at some point during the year. Accounting for $101.9 billion, or over two-thirds of USDA’s annual budget, these programs also represent a significant Federal investment. This report uses preliminary data from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to examine trends in U.S. food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016). The report also summarizes a recent Economic Research Service (ERS) report that examined trends in the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity in the United States through 2015 and highlights another recent ERS report that examined the effect of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on food spending.

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