set developed by the CCHIP (U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994).


In February 1994, USDA entered into an interagency agreement with the Census Bureau to develop, test, analyze, and refine a food security questionnaire as a supplement to the April 1995 Current Population Survey (CPS). The draft version of the questionnaire from the research conference was revised after deliberations and extensive cognitive testing and review by an expert team from the Center for Survey Methods Research (CSMR) and the Current Population Survey Branch of the Census Bureau. Technical direction of these extensive survey method refinements was provided by Eleanor Singer and the CSMR. The revised questionnaire was field-tested in April 1994. The results of the field test were analyzed by the fall of 1994, and further revisions were made to the questionnaire based on the recommendations flowing from the analysis of the pretest results (Hess, Singer, and Ciochetto, 1996). The questionnaire was fielded as a supplement to the CPS of April 1995 (U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994; Andrews, Bickel, and Carlson, 1998).

The CPS is a representative national sample survey of about 60,000 households that are surveyed monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Labor. It is a probability sample based on a stratified sampling design of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population. The CPS is the primary source of information on labor force characteristics of the United States. Various federal agencies sponsor collection of specialized supplementary data by the CPS following the labor force interview.

The Food Security Supplement (FSS) has been added to the CPS every year since 1995 (the supplement appears in Appendix A). It was repeated in September 1996, April 1997, August 1998, April 1999, September 2000, April 2001, December 2001, and in December of subsequent years. During 1996 and 1997, USDA made minor modifications to the questionnaire format and screening procedures. More substantial revisions in screening and format were introduced in 1998 to reduce respondent burden and improve data quality. The full FSS to the CPS includes more than 70 questions (including 2 follow-ups of about 15 questions) regarding expenditures for food, various aspects of food spending behavior and experiences during the 30 days and 12 months prior to the interview, use of federal and community food programs, food sufficiency and food security, and coping strategies.

Within the FSS is the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM)—a set of 10 questions for households with no children and 18 questions for households with children—that is used to calculate the house-

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