The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the primary source of nutrition assistance for many low-income people. Beyond providing a monthly benefit to spend on food, the program aims to ensure that SNAP participants have adequate access to enough food to lead healthy, active lives.
- Federal nutrition assistance programs and emergency food provision
- Household food security
- Low-wage labor markets
- Older adult care and nutrition
- Longitudinal data analysis
- Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
- Food Security and Hunger
- Human Services
James Mabli specializes in federal nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program; the Older Americans Act Nutrition Services Program (congregate and home-delivered meal programs); and community-based emergency food programs. Much of his work focuses on the intersection of low-income households’ decisions to participate in these programs, their efforts to find and retain employment, and programs that address barriers to job security and adequate access to food.
Mabli is the project director for Mathematica’s SNAP Employment and Training Pilots Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is a large 10-state random assignment evaluation of innovative strategies to help SNAP participants increase employment, earnings, and food security and decrease dependency on public assistance. He also directs the Administration on Aging’s Nutrition Services Program Evaluation, which estimates the impact of receiving congregate and home-delivered meals on participants’ food security, socialization, diet quality, and health. In addition to performing federal evaluations, he directs projects for foundations and nonprofit organizations. He currently leads a project for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of the largest food banks in the country. This project assesses the food needs of food-insecure older adults in Chicago and will create a program model for providing meals and services to clients with varying degrees of mobility and food and transportation access, in part through prepared-meal pilots.
Mabli, who joined Mathematica in 2006, publishes frequently in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Labor Economics, Pediatrics, Journal of Nutrition, and the American Journal of Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.
Evaluation of SNAP Employment and Training Pilots
The Administration on Aging Nutrition Services Program Evaluation
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) was created around the fundamental principle that all people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and fully participate in their communities.
Striking a Balance: Examining SNAP Benefit and Eligibility Parameters for Low-Income Households
This study assessed whether benefit and eligibility parameters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are aligned with the actual expenses that low-income households incur.
Evaluation of the Harlem Children's Zone Healthy Harlem Initiative
The Healthy Harlem initiative is a model for promoting healthy lifestyles in the charter schools, early childhood programs, and afterschool programs operated by the Harlem Children’s Zone® (HCZ). Mathematica's evaluation includes both an implementation/process study and an impact study.
WIC Local Agency Breastfeeding Policy and Practices Inventory (WIC BPI)
This project is describing the breastfeeding policies and practices at state agencies and local WIC agencies; the breastfeeding measures that agencies currently collect and report, and the data systems used to do so; and the associations between breastfeeding outcomes and agencies’ policies and practices.
Profile of American Consumption and Diet Quality (NHANES)
This study compares diet quality measures of participants, income-eligible nonparticipants, and higher-income nonparticipants using analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for participants in SNAP, WIC, and NSLP.
Mathematica Evaluates How Nutrition Services Can Affect Older Adults' Health Outcomes
For many older adults, access to nutritious meals and other services provided through the Older Americans Act Nutrition Services Program can boost social connection, promote independence, and potentially improve health outcomes.
New Study Reveals Healthy Harlem Program Led to Increased Physical Activity and Improved Weight Status for Overweight and Obese Students
For overweight and obese middle and high school students enrolled in Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) after-school programs, participation in Healthy Harlem led to sustained positive impacts on physical fitness and weight status, according to interim findings from Mathematica.
Congressional Testimony on SNAP Household Characteristics
Senior researcher Karen Cunnyngham testified before the House Committee on Agriculture’s Nutrition Subcommittee at a public hearing to review SNAP recipient characteristics and participation patterns. Findings from a recent study on SNAP dynamics, coauthored by senior researcher James Mabli, were also...
SNAP Associated with Improved Household and Child Food Security
A study for Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is associated with improved food security.
Providing Definitive Answers on Hunger and Food Insecurity
This study was the largest survey of food security and food spending among SNAP participants to date. The results can inform the policy discussion on program elements such as benefit size and promote evidence-based policymaking.
WIC Breastfeeding Policy Inventory
This video sheds light on the comprehensive range of policies and practices that WIC agencies use to promote breastfeeding. Mathematica's study, the first to examine WIC agencies' breastfeeding policies, surveyed 90 state-level agencies and nearly 1,800 local WIC agencies.