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.

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 Last Updated Next Update
Variable List and Codebooks
Main Variable List 6/20/2016
Household Level Codebook 7/6/2016
Individual Level Codebook 6/23/2016
User's Guide to Survey Design, Data Collection, and Datasets 6/20/2016