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Republish it! But please do not edit the piece. Also make sure that you attribute the author, and mention the article was originally published on Scholars Strategy Network. \u003Cem\u003EBy copying and pasting the markup below you will be adhering to these guidelines.\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022\/republishing-ssn-articles\u0022\u003EView additional guideline details.\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Ctextarea\u003E\n \u003Cdiv about=\u0022\/brief\/how-federal-and-state-food-stamps-programs-affect-recent-immigrant-families-united-states\u0022 typeof=\u0022sioc:Item foaf:Document\u0022 class=\u0022ds-1col node node-brief view-mode-stealourcontent_node clearfix\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ch2\u003E\n How Federal and State Food Stamps Programs Affect Recent Immigrant Families in the United States\n \u003C\/h2\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/scholar\/heather-koball\u0022\u003EHeather Koball\u003C\/a\u003E, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u201cFood insecurity\u201d is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access \u201cto enough food for an active, healthy life.\u201d This kind of insecurity can be measured either for entire households or for only children in affected households. According to the most recent data available, food insecurity affects 16.5 percent of all households with children, and 6.5 million children experienced food insecurity in those households. Food insecurity can harm children\u2019s health, development, and psychological well-being. Children experiencing this form of deprivation may be in poor health or underweight, and young children affected by food insecurity may fall behind developmental milestones.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Children of immigrants are at greater risk of going without enough food than the children of native-born citizens \u2013 even when income levels and other economic factors are taken into account. Immigrant families often experience economic hardships, of course, but their food insecurity may also be traced to U.S. federal and state policies that make some immigrants ineligible for food stamps.\u0026nbsp;\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EFood Stamps and Immigrant Status\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n The Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program \u2013 previously called food stamps and still widely known by that name \u2013 is designed to provide low-income households with financial support to purchase enough food for a nutritious diet. For most people in the U.S. general population, eligibility for food stamps is determined by the household\u2019s income and assets.\u0026nbsp; Although state governments have some flexibility in expanding food stamp eligibility beyond federal standards, families can generally get help from food stamps if they have household gross incomes below 130 percent of the poverty level \u2013 a level of earnings in 2017 equal to roughly $31,980 for a family of four. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government spent $75 billion on food stamps benefits going to 45 million people. In that year, nearly 41 percent of food-insecure households reported receiving food stamps.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n However, non-citizen immigrants are less likely to be eligible for food stamps than either native-born or immigrant citizens. The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act \u2013 known as \u201cwelfare reform\u201d \u2013 made most legal immigrants ineligible for this benefit. In 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (the 2002 Farm Bill) reversed some of these restrictions, restoring food stamp eligibility starting in April 2003 to all documented immigrants who had lived legally in the United States for at least five years and to all legal immigrants under age 18 effective October 1, 2003. However, legal adult immigrants who have lived in the United States for five years or less remain ineligible for federally funded food stamp benefits.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n After the 2002 federal change, seven states \u2013 California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington, and Wisconsin \u2013 used state-funded food assistance programs to provide some support to some immigrants who were not covered by the federal food stamps program. We refer to these states as inclusive states. In general, their programs extended state-funded benefits to legal adult recent immigrants during their first five years of residence in the United States. Our research team has examined whether state-funded food assistance has effectively served households headed by recent immigrant parents and reduced their food insecurity.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EProgram Coverage for Recent Immigrants in\u003C\/span\u003E \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EVarious\u003C\/span\u003E \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EStates\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Our study compared the rates of receiving food assistance, the amount of benefits, and the levels of food insecurity among recent immigrant households with children relative to longer-term immigrant households with children. We asked whether recent immigrant households were better off in the inclusive states that filled gaps in the federal food stamps program compared to exclusive states that did not fill the federal gap affecting the first five years of residence. Data for our analysis came from surveys conducted from 2003 to 2010 and from the Food Security Supplement of the Current Population Survey. Data included measures of food security in immigrant households and their participation in food stamp programs. We focused on the years after the 2002 Farm Bill, because since then federal food stamp eligibility requirements for immigrants have remained consistent \u2013 with legally documented immigrants in inclusive states eligible for help during the first five years that was not available to their counterparts in the other states. We accounted for a range of social and economic characteristics of the households in order to determine the potential causal effect of state policy on three outcomes: food stamp receipt, food stamp benefit amount, and food insecurity.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-title\u0022\u003EHow Additional State-level Benefits Help Immigrant Households\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Our analysis showed that households of recent immigrant parents who live in inclusive states were more likely to receive food stamp benefits than households of recent immigrant parents in exclusive states. Recent immigrant households also received more food stamp benefits, perhaps because in inclusive states more household members are eligible for these benefits compared to members of immigrant households in exclusive states. Did greater eligibility for food stamps reduce hunger? We found that food insecurity was lower among recent immigrant households in inclusive states, but this finding did not reach the level of statistical significance.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n More research remains to be done on the potential impact on families and children of varied food stamp policies. Currently, 17.8 million children live in the United States with at least one non-citizen immigrant parent and 7.5 million live with two such parents. Recently, some states have dropped inclusive programs, but as of 2016, five states \u2013 California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and Washington \u2013 still provide state-funded food stamps to recent, legal adult immigrants. No state provides food stamp benefits to unauthorized adult immigrants.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n Our research suggests that families headed by legal immigrant parents who recently moved to the United States are more likely to receive food stamp benefits (and more generous benefits) if they happen to live in the inclusive states. Indications are that receiving such benefits reduces food insecurity for these fortunate immigrant families \u2013 which may very well allow their children to flourish in ways that benefit everyone in America.\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u0026nbsp;\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\u0022brief-footer-comments\u0022\u003ERead more in Heather Koball, \u201c\u003Ca href=\u0022https:\/\/archive.org\/stream\/CAT31132102\/cat31132102#page\/n0\/mode\/2up\u0022\u003EFood Insecurity and SNAP Use Among Immigrant Families with Children During the Economic Downturn\u003C\/a\u003E,\u201d report for the USDA\u2019s Economic Research Service, (2013). \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp; \u0026nbsp;\u0026nbsp;\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Ctable align=\u0022left\u0022 border=\u00220\u0022 cellpadding=\u00221\u0022 cellspacing=\u00221\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ctr\u003E\n \u003Ctd\u003E\n \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholars.org\u0022\u003Ewww.scholars.org\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/td\u003E\n \u003C\/tr\u003E\n \u003C\/table\u003E\n \u003Ctable align=\u0022right\u0022 border=\u00220\u0022 cellpadding=\u00221\u0022 cellspacing=\u00221\u0022\u003E\n \u003Ctr\u003E\n \u003Ctd\u003E\n January 2018\n \u003C\/td\u003E\n \u003C\/tr\u003E\n \u003C\/table\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E\n \u0026nbsp;\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E \u003Cp\u003EThis article was originally published on \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/\u0022\u003EScholars Strategy Network\u003C\/a\u003E. Read the \u003Ca href=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/brief\/how-federal-and-state-food-stamps-programs-affect-recent-immigrant-families-united-states\u0022\u003Eoriginal article\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003Cimg height=\u00221\u0022 width=\u00221\u0022 typeof=\u0022foaf:Image\u0022 src=\u0022http:\/\/www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org\/stealourcontent\/track.gif?nid=41599\u0022 alt=\u0022\u0022 \/\u003E \u003C\/textarea\u003E\n\n \u003Cp\u003ECopy the above code and paste it into your website or CMS to republish.\u003C\/p\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n"}]