Dietrich, Liam. “Oh, SNAP!”, Boston College, 2023. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109740.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of societies around the world when it struck in 2020. Food insecurity increased in almost all countries, even those with well-developed economies and safety nets, and education for all ages was drastically affected by social distancing guidelines and a concern for the safety of students and faculty alike. Using data from the 2019 and 2020 cross-sections of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, I evaluated the impact of an automatic increase in food assistance benefits in the United States during March 2020 on grade progression rates for students who were affected by the benefit increase. I find statistically insignificant results regarding the effect of this increase on grade progression rates, but a significant positive effect of being in the post-Covid period on these rates. These results could reflect the fact that school districts around the country broadly loosened the academic requirements for grade progression. Future research could evaluate the effect of food stamp benefits on the quality of education, and seek to overcome the limitations of the model used for this analysis.