In October 2017, in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Congress appropriated $1.27 billion in disaster relief funds to expand eligibility for Puerto Rico ’s Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) and increase benefit amounts for current and new participants. Following the distribution of those funds, Congress mandated that the Secretary of Agriculture conduct an independent study to assess the effects of the additional funding on NAP recipients and compare their level of food security, health status, and well-being with NAP-eligible residents who did not receive such benefits.
The primary objective of this project is to collect representative survey data on household food security in Puerto Rico. The food security data will be supplemented and contextualized with two additional study components: (1) a series of in-depth interviews to understand better the household context of food security, health, and well-being for Puerto Rican residents following the advent of Hurricane Maria and other recent disasters; and (2) a concept map of the Puerto Rican food system identifying policies and knowledge gaps that may affect the delivery and effectiveness of NAP. Specifically, Insight will conduct the following activities:
- Convene a Technical Working Group with up to eight subject matter experts selected based on their methodological skill set and their familiarity with distinct stages of the Puerto Rican food and nutrition system.
- Develop data collection instruments and recruitment materials designed to measure food security.
- Collect representative survey data on household food security in Puerto Rico.
- Conduct in-depth interviews with 144 residents of Puerto Rico experiencing varying levels of food security.
- Facilitate development of a concept or problem map of the Puerto Rican food and nutrition system that describes key points of resiliency and vulnerability in the system where policymakers may improve the delivery and effectiveness of NAP.
- Analyze data, develop draft and final reports, and deliver a final briefing.
Concept map report; issue briefs; final report; PowerPoint presentation; public-use and restricted-use survey datafiles and documentation