Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): The Kentucky Ticket to Healthy Food Project

Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (EDECH): The Kentucky Ticket to Healthy Food Project

Published: Apr 30, 2019
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica
Associated Project

Ending Childhood Hunger: Evaluation of Demonstration Projects

Time frame: 2014-2018

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service


Nicholas Redel

Breanna Wakar

Ronette Briefel

The 2010 Child Nutrition reauthorization called for the development of innovative strategies to “reduce the risk of childhood hunger or provide a significant improvement to the food security status of households with children,” and an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of these strategies using rigorous experimental designs and methodologies to produce scientifically valid evidence of project impacts on food security. USDA awarded a $3.6 million grant to Kentucky’s SNAP agency, which implemented a 15-month project from January 2017 through March 2018. The project targeted households with children living in 17 rural and mountainous counties in eastern Kentucky with particularly high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The goal of the project was to reduce child food insecurity in these rural households by raising SNAP benefits to offset the higher transportation costs they face. The project intended to provide SNAP benefits that would better account for the true costs that low-income, geographically isolated households face when grocery shopping or commuting to work.

This evaluation, conducted by Mathematica, used a rigorous randomized controlled trial design to estimate the Kentucky Ticket to Healthy Food project’s impact on the primary study outcome―reduce food insecurity among children―and other outcomes, including food security among adults and the household as a whole, food spending, and participation in nutrition assistance programs.

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