Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Andrea Leschewski


COVID-19, Food Expenditure, Food Security, Relief Packages


The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in consumer shopping habits, including food expenditures. The pandemic induced changes in food expenditure patterns, food accessibility, and declining household income contributed to increased food insecurity during the pandemic. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of COVID-19- related relief packages on food security and food expenditures. The effect of Economic Impact Payments, P-EBT, SNAP, and free food will be considered. Using data from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS), a total sample of 1,899,929 households were analyzed in this study. The HPS is a nationally representative survey structured to produce data on the social and economic impact of the pandemic on households in the US as well as to measure household experiences during the pandemic. OLS, Tobit and Cragg’s double hurdle models were used to examine the association between package receipt and food expenditure, while linear probability models and probit models were used to analyze food security. Results from all the models provide evidence that COVID-19 relief packages, including EIP, P-EBT, and SNAP had a significant, positive association with household FAH and FAFH expenditures. In contrast, free food resources were associated with a reduction in both FAH and FAFH expenditures. Also, results from the analysis suggest PEBT and EIP receipt had the intended effect of helping reduce food insecurity among households during the pandemic. However, several packages, including SNAP, had a significant positive association with food insecurity. This positive association is likely attributable to the endogeneity associated with receiving these packages.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright