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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Bohn, Sarah; Danielson, Caroline; Thorman, Tess
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Despite improvements, the official poverty rate remains high. According to official poverty statistics, 14.3% of Californians lacked enough resources—about $24,300 per year for a family of four—to meet basic needs in 2016. The rate has declined significantly from 15.3% in 2015, but it is well above the most recent low of 12.4% in 2007. Moreover, the official poverty line does not account for California’s housing costs or other critical family expenses and resources. (Author excerpt)

    Despite improvements, the official poverty rate remains high. According to official poverty statistics, 14.3% of Californians lacked enough resources—about $24,300 per year for a family of four—to meet basic needs in 2016. The rate has declined significantly from 15.3% in 2015, but it is well above the most recent low of 12.4% in 2007. Moreover, the official poverty line does not account for California’s housing costs or other critical family expenses and resources. (Author excerpt)

  • Individual Author: Ip, Edward H.; Saldana, Santiago; Arcury, Thomas A. ; Grzywacz, Joseph G. ; Trejo, Grisel; Quandt, Sara A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    OBJECTIVES:

    We recruited 248 farmworker families with preschool-aged children in North Carolina and examined food security indicators over 24 months to identify food security patterns and examine the dynamic of change over time.

    METHODS:

    Participants in the Niños Sanos study, conducted 2011 to 2014, completed quarterly food security assessments. Based on responses to items in the US Household Food Security Survey Module, we identified different states of food security by using hidden Markov model analysis, and examined factors associated with different states. We delineated factors associated with changes in state by using mixed-effect ordinal logistic regression.

    RESULTS:

    About half of the households (51%) consistently stayed in the most food-secure state. The least food-secure state was transient, with only 29% probability of this state for 2 consecutive quarters. Seasonal (vs migrant) work status, having immigration documents (vs not documented), and season predicted higher levels of food security.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Heterogeneity in...

    OBJECTIVES:

    We recruited 248 farmworker families with preschool-aged children in North Carolina and examined food security indicators over 24 months to identify food security patterns and examine the dynamic of change over time.

    METHODS:

    Participants in the Niños Sanos study, conducted 2011 to 2014, completed quarterly food security assessments. Based on responses to items in the US Household Food Security Survey Module, we identified different states of food security by using hidden Markov model analysis, and examined factors associated with different states. We delineated factors associated with changes in state by using mixed-effect ordinal logistic regression.

    RESULTS:

    About half of the households (51%) consistently stayed in the most food-secure state. The least food-secure state was transient, with only 29% probability of this state for 2 consecutive quarters. Seasonal (vs migrant) work status, having immigration documents (vs not documented), and season predicted higher levels of food security.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Heterogeneity in food security among farmworker households calls for tailoring intervention strategies. The transiency and unpredictability of low food security suggest that access to safety-net programs could reduce low food security risk in this population. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Nam, Yunju; Huang, Jin; Heflin, Colleen; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Objective: This study examines racial/ethnic disparities in the experience of food insufficiency among families with infants, focusing on the roles of socioeconomic characteristics. Method: We examine the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment data collected from a probability sample of White, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic caregivers of infants randomly selected from Oklahoma’s birth certificates (N = 2,652). Data are analyzed using Fairlie’s extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Results: Whites experience food insufficiency at a statistically significantly lower rate than do the 3 minority groups. Estimates suggest most of the racial/ethnic disparity in food insufficiency is explained by compositional differences in economic and noneconomic resources between Whites and minority groups. In particular, lower levels of asset ownership and access to credit among minority groups are estimated to contribute to higher levels of food insufficiency in comparison with Whites. Conclusions: Higher...

    Objective: This study examines racial/ethnic disparities in the experience of food insufficiency among families with infants, focusing on the roles of socioeconomic characteristics. Method: We examine the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment data collected from a probability sample of White, African American, American Indian, and Hispanic caregivers of infants randomly selected from Oklahoma’s birth certificates (N = 2,652). Data are analyzed using Fairlie’s extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Results: Whites experience food insufficiency at a statistically significantly lower rate than do the 3 minority groups. Estimates suggest most of the racial/ethnic disparity in food insufficiency is explained by compositional differences in economic and noneconomic resources between Whites and minority groups. In particular, lower levels of asset ownership and access to credit among minority groups are estimated to contribute to higher levels of food insufficiency in comparison with Whites. Conclusions: Higher levels of food insufficiency among racial/ethnic minority families call for interventions for these families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sharkey, Joseph R.; Dean, Wesley R.; Nalty, Courtney C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Background: Nutritional health is essential for children’s growth and development. Many Mexican-origin children who reside in limited-resource colonias along the Texas-Mexico border are at increased risk for poor nutrition as a result of household food insecurity. However, little is known about the prevalence of child hunger or its associated factors among children of Mexican immigrants. This study determines the prevalence of child hunger and identifies protective and risk factors associated with it in two Texas border areas.

    Methods: This study uses 2009 Colonia Household and Community Food Resource Assessment (C-HCFRA) data from 470 mothers who were randomly recruited by promotora-researchers. Participants from colonias near two small towns in two South Texas counties participated in an in-home community and household assessment. Interviewer-administered surveys collected data in Spanish on sociodemographics, federal food assistance program participation, and food security status. Frequencies and bivariate correlations were examined while a random-effects logistic...

    Background: Nutritional health is essential for children’s growth and development. Many Mexican-origin children who reside in limited-resource colonias along the Texas-Mexico border are at increased risk for poor nutrition as a result of household food insecurity. However, little is known about the prevalence of child hunger or its associated factors among children of Mexican immigrants. This study determines the prevalence of child hunger and identifies protective and risk factors associated with it in two Texas border areas.

    Methods: This study uses 2009 Colonia Household and Community Food Resource Assessment (C-HCFRA) data from 470 mothers who were randomly recruited by promotora-researchers. Participants from colonias near two small towns in two South Texas counties participated in an in-home community and household assessment. Interviewer-administered surveys collected data in Spanish on sociodemographics, federal food assistance program participation, and food security status. Frequencies and bivariate correlations were examined while a random-effects logistic regression model with backward elimination was used to determine correlates of childhood hunger.

    Results: Hunger among children was reported in 51% (n = 239) of households in this C-HCFRA sample. Bivariate analyses revealed that hunger status was associated with select maternal characteristics, such as lower educational attainment and Mexican nativity, and household characteristics, including household composition, reliance on friend or neighbor for transportation, food purchase at dollar stores and from neighbors, and participation in school-based nutrition programs. A smaller percentage of households with child hunger participated in school-based nutrition programs (51%) or used alternative food sources, while 131 households were unable to give their child or children a balanced meal during the school year and 145 households during summer months. In the random effects model (RE = small town), increased household composition, full-time unemployment, and participation in the National School Lunch Program were significantly associated with increased odds for child hunger, while participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and purchasing food from a neighbor were significantly associated with decreased odds for child hunger.

    Conclusions: This study not only emphasizes the alarming rates of child hunger among this sample of Mexican-origin families, but also identifies economic and family factors that increased the odds for child hunger as well as community strategies that reduced the odds. It is unsettling that so many children did not participate in school-based nutrition programs, and that many who participated in federal nutrition assistance programs remained hungry. This study underscores the importance of identifying the presence of child hunger among low-income Mexican-origin children in Texas border colonias and increasing access to nutrition-related resources. Hunger-associated health inequities at younger ages among colonia residents are likely to persist across the life span and into old age. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, Luke; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In fact the 1996 welfare reform ended the only cash entitlement program in the U.S. for poor families with children, replacing it with a program that offers time-limited cash assistance and requires able-bodied recipients to participate in work activities. This reform, combined with changes to other means-tested public programs that have raised the benefits of work for low-income households, has been followed by a dramatic decline in cash assistance caseloads, from an average of 12.3 million recipients per month in 1996 to 4.4 million in June 2011; only 1.1 million of these beneficiaries are adults.

    Thus, in the aftermath of the Great Recession while millions of American parents continue to experience long spells of unemployment, they have little access to means-tested income support programs. Has this produced a new group of American poor: households with children living on virtually no income?

    We use the term “extreme poor” to refer to this group, and adapt one of the World Bank’s measures of global poverty to define it: $2 or less, per person, per day. This...

    In fact the 1996 welfare reform ended the only cash entitlement program in the U.S. for poor families with children, replacing it with a program that offers time-limited cash assistance and requires able-bodied recipients to participate in work activities. This reform, combined with changes to other means-tested public programs that have raised the benefits of work for low-income households, has been followed by a dramatic decline in cash assistance caseloads, from an average of 12.3 million recipients per month in 1996 to 4.4 million in June 2011; only 1.1 million of these beneficiaries are adults.

    Thus, in the aftermath of the Great Recession while millions of American parents continue to experience long spells of unemployment, they have little access to means-tested income support programs. Has this produced a new group of American poor: households with children living on virtually no income?

    We use the term “extreme poor” to refer to this group, and adapt one of the World Bank’s measures of global poverty to define it: $2 or less, per person, per day. This policy brief estimates the prevalence of extreme poverty in the U.S., and assesses how it has changed over the past 15 years. As a result of shrinking access to cash assistance and the increasingly poor economic climate, we expect the size of the population of households with children living in extreme poverty to increase between 1996 and 2011, both in terms of total households, and as a proportion of all poor households. (author introduction)

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