Nativity, Not Acculturation, Predicts SNAP Usage Among Low-income Hispanics With Food Insecurity

Donna M. Winham, Traci L. Armstrong Florian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program. Undocumented noncitizens are ineligible to receive SNAP benefits, but their children under age 18 or other qualified noncitizen family members may be eligible. Due to the recent economic recession as well as anti-immigrant legislation and sentiment in Arizona, it is possible that eligible low-income Hispanics are not participating in programs like SNAP that would alleviate hunger and food security. A self-administered survey on nutrition assistance program participation, demographics, food security, and acculturation was completed by a convenience sample of 352 women aged 18–65 years in metro Phoenix, Arizona. Fifty-one percent of participants were food secure. Significant differences in degree of food insecurity by acculturation status existed with 8% of Hispanic dominant women having “very low food security” in contrast to 19% of English dominant women (P =.003). Fifty percent received SNAP benefits, but more U.S.-born (54%) than non-U.S.-born (41%; P =.002) women participated. Greater efforts are needed to increase awareness of SNAP options among food insecure Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants, and especially non-native-born Latinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • Hispanics
  • Latino
  • SNAP
  • TANF
  • WIC
  • acculturation
  • food security
  • immigration
  • low income
  • nutrition assistance programs
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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