Title page for ETD etd-11172006-115544

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Whelan, Emily Sashel
Author's Email Address ewhela1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11172006-115544
Title The Response of the National School Lunch Program and Food Stamp Program in Southern Louisiana in the Wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carol O'Neil Committee Chair
Dr. Annrose Guarino Committee Member
Dr. Betsy Garrison Committee Member
Dr. Michael Keenan Committee Member
  • Hurricanes
  • Disaster
  • NSLP
  • FSP
Date of Defense 2006-11-08
Availability unrestricted
This study was designed to understand the response of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Food Stamp Program (FSP) in southern Louisiana during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This study used portions of the PRECEDE/PROCEED model to develop the questions for the interviews and interpret the barriers and enabling and reinforcing factors with regard to changes in policy, budget, reporting, and program administration after the hurricanes. Information collected from this research seeks, not only to contribute to the literature on this topic, but to be made available to policymakers and program administrators to make informed decisions.

The effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in southern Louisiana were catastrophic. They were unusual in that the impact of the storms covered an extraordinary amount of the Gulf Coast region and an enormous amount of people were affected. In response to the catastrophe, two federally mandated food assistance programs, the NSLP and FSP, released a series of waivers, initiating a disaster program, which decreased eligibility requirements; therefore allowing more people affected by the hurricanes to access the benefits.

One-on-one interviews were conducted with regional, state, and local program administrators to understand the challenges and successes faces while implementing the disaster programs. The study participants were asked to participate based on their roles, responsibilities, and direct affect of either Hurricane Katrina, Rita, or both. Results of the study revealed the speedy response of the USDA and community support led to the success of the programs. The barriers that most administrators faced while trying to implement the programs were infrastructure damage, lack of communication due to power outage and loss of cellular service, and lack of commerce in the area. Overall, both programs were successful in their commitment to their underlying mission: increasing food access to those affected by the storms.

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