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Article

Examining Rural Food-Insecure Families’ Perceptions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: A Qualitative Study

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Department of Agricultural & Human Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27659, USA
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Division of Health & Exercise Science, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR 97361, USA
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Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
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Food and Health Lab, Department of Health & Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59718, USA
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Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership, West Virginia University School of Public Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
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Department of Global Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
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Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, 115 Heart Drive, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176390
Received: 16 July 2020 / Revised: 13 August 2020 / Accepted: 22 August 2020 / Published: 2 September 2020
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical program that helps reduce the risk of food insecurity, yet little is known about how SNAP addresses the needs of rural, food-insecure residents in the United States (U.S.). This study examines how rural, food-insecure residents perceive SNAP. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 153 individuals living in six diverse rural regions of Arkansas, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and West Virginia. SNAP was described as a crucial stop-gap program, keeping families from experiencing persistent food insecurity, making food dollars stretch when the family budget is tight, and helping them purchase healthier foods. For many rural residents interviewed, SNAP was viewed in a largely positive light. In efforts to continue improving SNAP, particularly in light of its relevance during and post-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, policymakers must be aware of rural families’ perceptions of SNAP. Specific improvements may include increased transparency regarding funding formulas, budgeting and nutrition education for recipients, effective training to improve customer service, connections among social service agencies within a community, and increased availability of automation to streamline application processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural; SNAP; food insecurity; food access rural; SNAP; food insecurity; food access
MDPI and ACS Style

Haynes-Maslow, L.; Hardison-Moody, A.; Patton-Lopez, M.; Prewitt, T.E.; Byker Shanks, C.; Andress, L.; Osborne, I.; Jilcott Pitts, S. Examining Rural Food-Insecure Families’ Perceptions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6390. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176390

AMA Style

Haynes-Maslow L, Hardison-Moody A, Patton-Lopez M, Prewitt TE, Byker Shanks C, Andress L, Osborne I, Jilcott Pitts S. Examining Rural Food-Insecure Families’ Perceptions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6390. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176390

Chicago/Turabian Style

Haynes-Maslow, Lindsey, Annie Hardison-Moody, Megan Patton-Lopez, T. E. Prewitt, Carmen Byker Shanks, Lauri Andress, Isabel Osborne, and Stephanie Jilcott Pitts. 2020. "Examining Rural Food-Insecure Families’ Perceptions of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 17: 6390. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176390

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