The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) plays a vital role in providing supplemental nutrition assistance in the wake of a disaster. As part of this response, FNS administers the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), which provides short-term food assistance benefits to households affected by a disaster. In recent years, as weather-related disasters in the United States have become more frequent, the number of States providing D-SNAP benefits each year has increased.
In fiscal years 2017 and 2018 alone, D-SNAP aided nearly 6 million households and responded to more than a dozen disasters. FNS supports states’ D-SNAP planning and operations through provision of D-SNAP training, technical assistance, and guidance. The primary purpose of this study is to identify and document best practices in D-SNAP planning and operations from across the country and for a variety of disaster types. Specifically, Insight is addressing the following study objectives:
- Assess the implementation and operation of D-SNAP for selected disasters in each study state.
- Describe the characteristics and economic circumstances of the D-SNAP households for the selected disasters.
- Document each state’s approach to protecting program integrity while operating D-SNAP.
- Determine best practices for developing annual disaster plans to address various disaster types.
- Determine best practices for implementing and operating D-SNAP for a variety of disaster types.
To address these objectives, Insight is conducting case studies of up to 10 D-SNAPs in 5 states. The study includes the following four primary data collection components:
- Review of all available information on the planning, implementation, operation, and postdisaster reporting of D-SNAP in five states
- Interviews with federal staff at FNS Headquarters and Regional Offices who worked with states on D-SNAP administration and approvals
- Site visits to the five selected states to assess all aspects of the D-SNAP operations based on in-depth interviews, process-mapping discussions, and on-the-ground observations at former D-SNAP sites and disaster areas
- Collection of administrative caseload data to examine the characteristics and economic circumstances of D-SNAP households and estimate the economic impact in the affected areas