Many social programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are designed to help families stabilize their income or food consumption in times of crisis. However, many families who are eligible for these programs do not utilize those resources because of administrative burden or lack of information about their eligibility.
When families switch in and out of eligibility for these programs, the costs in terms of time and resources may outweigh the temporary benefits they provide, and families may choose not to enroll. But for households with volatile income, maintaining consistent access to food can be difficult, and food stamps could help smooth out food consumption over time. This blog post examines the likelihood that families with a young child cross the income threshold for food stamps and how likely that family is to receive them.