Overview

USDA's National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is the first nationally representative survey of American households to collect unique and comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. Detailed information was collected about foods purchased or otherwise acquired for consumption at home and away from home, including foods acquired through food and nutrition assistance programs. The survey includes nationally representative data from 4,826 households, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, low-income households not participating in SNAP, and higher income households.


The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with support from USDA's Economic Research Service and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), is organizing a new two-year research initiative consisting of ten distinct projects that will leverage the FoodAPS data set to address issues related to food security, nutrition, and health in the United States. For the full request for proposals, see Call for Proposals: NBER Project on the Economics of Food Security, Nutrition, and Health: Insights from FoodAPS. Deadline: January 15, 2016.

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR), in cooperation with ERS, will competitively award grants to qualified individuals and institutions to provide rigorous research that utilizes FoodAPS to expand our understanding of household food behaviors and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Research issues of interest include: benefit adequacy, diet quality, cost of a healthy diet, and food security, and the role of the local food environment and other geographic factors. In addition to the FoodAPS data, geographically-linked data on the local food environment and food prices compiled as part of the FoodAPS Geography Component (FoodAPS-GC) are available for awardees. It is anticipated that about 3 grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded. See the call for proposals, FoodAPS Research Initiative: Understanding SNAP, Food Security, and Geographic Factors in Food Purchase and Acquisition Decisions. Deadline: March 31, 2016.


FoodAPS provides information about household size and composition, available resources (including food and nutrition assistance program benefits, if any), and acquired food items (and their prices). This information, combined with data about the food items and prices that are accessible to each household, provides a robust dataset for research studies that support the design and implementation of policies and regulations affecting America’s food and nutrition assistance programs. For a more detailed description of the survey, see Background.

ERS and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA jointly sponsored FoodAPS. Mathematica Policy Research, a private research firm with experience conducting large-scale data collections, designed and implemented the survey. The Main Variable List contains the variables included in the data files. These include the household-level and individual-level interview files, the food-at-home (FAH) and food-away-from-home (FAFH) event files, the FAH and FAFH item files, data from the Meals and Snacks form, a summary of the individual daily reporting status, household access to FAFH outlets and SNAP-authorized FAH retailers, a file containing each unique geocoded acquisition place, and estimates of household SNAP eligibility. A User's Guide, providing an overview of the survey and data sets as well as general notes about using the data, is also available.

    Data Set      
    Downloads     Last Updated     Next Update    
    Variable List and Codebooks   Back to top   
    Main Variable List Download as Excel       2/10/2016   
    User's Guide to Survey Design, Data Collection, and Datasets   Download as PDF    2/10/2016   
    Household Level Codebook   Download as PDF    2/25/2015   
    Individual Level Codebook   Download as PDF    2/25/2015   
    Household screening tools   Back to top   
    Household screener 1   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Household screener 2   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Participation followup letter   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Household food books   Back to top   
    Adult food book   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Primary respondent book   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Youth food book   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Call in schedule   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Telephone interview   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    In-person interviews   Back to top   
    Initial visit script   Download as PDF    1/15/2014   
    Initial interview   Download as PDF    5/28/2014   
    Income worksheet   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Final interview   Download as PDF    12/11/2013   
    Respondent feedback form   Back to top   
    Respondent feedback form   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Meals and snacks form   Back to top   
    Meals and snacks form   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Survey confidentiality forms   Back to top   
    Confidentiality form   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Confidentiality agreement   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Participant consent form   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Privacy pledge   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Geographic component   Back to top   
    Retail Environment Study codebook   Back to top   
    Retail Environment Study codebook   Download as PDF   Download file    7/22/2014   
    Variable List-GC   Back to top   
    Variable List-GC   Download as PDF   Download file    7/22/2014   
    Training manuals   Back to top   
    Telephone interviewer manual   Download as PDF    4/14/2014   
    Field interviewer manual   Download as PDF    4/14/2014   
    General information   Back to top   
    Informational brochure   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   
    Informational postcard   Download as PDF    9/5/2013   

    Last updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    For more information contact: Elina Tselepidakis Page and John A. Kirlin

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