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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

Behavioral Science Interventions Could Increase SNAP Comprehension and Awareness Among Military Families

Colleen Heflin, Hannah Patnaik, Leonard Lopoo, and Siobhan O’Keefe

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 7

November 2023

Colleen Heflin

Colleen Heflin

Hannah Patnaik headshot

Hannah Patnaik

Leonard Lopoo headshot

Leonard M. Lopoo

Food insecurity is more common among military families than the general population, and the transition from active service to civilian life is a time of heightened risk. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to support food security among low-income families. Many eligible military and veteran families do not enroll in SNAP due to a lack of information, stigma, and administrative barriers. This brief highlights findings from a survey experiment conducted in 2022 and 2023 to assess how small changes to SNAP informational flyers, such as simplifying information provided about SNAP, highlighting that other veterans use SNAP, and emphasizing how much monetary support veterans may be foregoing, to improve SNAP uptake among military families transitioning to civilian life. Results of the study show that making these small changes to informational flyers increased veterans’ awareness and comprehension of SNAP, while also reducing the cognitive load placed on veterans and their families.

CPR Policy Briefs present concise summaries of findings from recent research conducted by CPR affiliates in the areas of crime and the law, economic wellbeing and poverty, education, energy and the environment, families, health, public finance, social welfare, urban and regional economics, and other policy-relevant domains.

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