Journal Club 8: Securing a Stop to the Summer Setback: Policy Considerations in the Future Expansion of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children

(Recorded 4/2/2018)

Speakers: Carolyn Gunther, PhD, The Ohio State University; Laura C. Hopkins, PhD, MSPH, RDN, The Ohio State University & Neal H. Hooker, PhD, The Ohio State University

The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) has been proposed as a solution to address the problem of child food security during the summer. Initial SEBTC findings from a demonstration project show promise and the federal government has approved substantial funding for its continuation. This presentation will review empirical assessments of SEBTC and Electronic Benefits Transfer research, and present policy considerations in the program’s future expansion.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will develop an understanding of the problem of underuse of the USDA Summer Food Service Program and the potential of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (SEBTC) program to address summer food insecurity among underserved children.
  2. Participants will develop an understanding of the results from empirical assessments of the SEBTC demonstration project and pertinent peer-reviewed EBT literature.
  3. Participants will develop an understanding of the important policy considerations in the future expansion of the SEBTC.

Carolyn Gunther, PhD, The Ohio State University
Carolyn Gunther is an Assistant Professor of Human Nutrition and Extension State Specialist at The Ohio State University. Professor Gunther received her PhD from Purdue University in Nutrition Science. Her research program is dedicated to discovering new knowledge surrounding one of today’s most pressing public health nutrition issues – overweight and obesity among underserved children and youth. Specifically, through observational and intervention research, her team is investigating the behavioral and environmental factors, both protective and detrimental, that influence a child’s risk for obesity. Findings generated from her work have direct implications regarding federal, state, and local foods and nutrition policy and programmatic reform.

Laura C. Hopkins, PhD, MSPH, RD, The Ohio State University
Laura Hopkins recently graduated with her Ph.D. in the Ohio State Interdisciplinary Program in Nutrition and minor in Public Policy and Management. She is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Ohio State University in the Department of Human Sciences and Office of Extension. She received her B.S. degree in Applied Nutrition from Ohio University, and completed her M.S. degree in Public Health and dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She then went on to work as a Research Coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Global Obesity Prevention Center for almost two years. Her doctoral research focused on the issue of summer weight gain in economically disadvantaged, racial minority children in Columbus, Ohio.

Neal H. Hooker, PhD, The Ohio State University
Dr. Neal Hooker is Professor of Food Policy in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University. His research explores public policy, marketing and management issues within global food supply chains. He is particularly interested in how food safety, nutrition and sustainability attributes are communicated, controlled, and (where appropriate) certified. These issues require special attention when considering public health and international trade impacts of different types and sizes of firms and farms and the responses of customers, consumers and stakeholders. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, a MA from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and a BA (Hons.) from Essex University (UK).