INNOVATIVE THINKING
RIGOROUS APPROACHES
REAL WORLD IMPACT

 

Project

Feasibility Study of Capturing SNAP Purchases at the Point-of-Sale

Market
Social Programs Practice Areas
Services
Research Services
Advanced Analytics & Technology Solutions
Client
U.S. Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service
Expertise
Applied Research Studies
Process Evaluations and Qualitative Research
Quantitative Data Analysis
Secure Technology and Data Solutions
Technical Assistance

The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to provide children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its food assistance programs and comprehensive nutrition education efforts. To support FNS’ mission, FNS requires a variety of data that describe the diets and food purchasing patterns of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. SNAP households receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which is used to purchase food at stores in much the same way consumers use credit or debit cards. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of and explore the technical parameters required for an FNS-owned data capture system that would record the item-level data for purchases in which an EBT card was used. IMPAQ is currently conducting this assessment and developing a prototype system that will be tested to determine the feasibility of a national roll-out of such a system.