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Notice

Notice of Intent To Request a New Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Economic Research Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to send comments regarding any aspect of this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the National Food Survey Field Test.

DATES:

Written comments on this notice must be received on or before July 19, 2010 to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

Address all comments concerning this notice to Mark Denbaly, Food Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1800 M St., NW., Room N2164, Washington, DC 20036-5801. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Mark Denbaly at 202-694-5661 or via e-mail to mdenbaly@ers.usda.gov. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Economic Research Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 1800 M St., NW., Room N2164, Washington, DC 20036-5801.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For further information contact Mark Denbaly at the address in the preamble. Tel. 202-694-5390.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: National Food Survey Field Test.

OMB Number: 0536-XXXX.

Expiration Date: Three years from the date of approval.

Type of Request: New collection.

Abstract: This field test of the National Food Survey will be conducted over a two-month period with about 400 households to test survey procedures for the planned full-scale, nationally representative National Food Survey. Legislative authority for the planned data collection is Section 17 [7 U.S.C. 2026](a)(1) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. This section authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts with private institutions to undertake research that will help improve the administration and effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in delivering nutrition-related benefits.

The information to be collected by the National Food Survey is necessary to assess and understand the relationships among: (1) Foods purchased for consumption at home and away from home over a one-week period, as well as foods acquired through food and nutrition assistance programs (both public and private); (2) household access to food, including locations where food is acquired and distance to acquisition points; (3) number of meals and snacks consumed by each household member during a one-week period; and (4) household characteristics, including income, participation in federal food assistance programs, non-food expenditures, food security, health status, and diet and nutrition knowledge of the primary food shopper.

This survey will provide data not currently available to program officials and researchers, thereby broadening the scope of economic analyses of food choices made by U.S. households and how those choices influence diet quality and reflect decisions about participation in food assistance programs. The information to be collected by the survey is necessary to assess and understand the relationships among: (1) The types of foods and beverages households purchase, including those obtained and consumed away from home; (2) the nutritional quality of these foods and beverages; (3) the types of food retailers within proximity to households; (4) the influence of household income and food prices on purchases of food brought home and food consumed away from home; (5) levels of food security and the relationships between food security and types of food purchases; (6) levels of dietary knowledge and the relationship with types of food purchases; and (7) differences in food acquisition and food security outcomes between participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) and nonparticipants.

The field test will collect data from about 400 low-income households selected at random from within two Primary Sampling Units (counties). The sample will be selected from an address-based sampling frame. Households residing at selected addresses will be asked to complete a brief screener to determine eligibility. Eligible households will be asked to participate in the one-week survey. The primary respondent, identified as the primary food shopper, will be asked to use a handheld scanner provided by the study to scan all foods with barcodes brought into the home for a one-week period. All members of the household age 11 years and older will be asked to keep a food diary of all foods that they acquire and consume away from home during the one-week period; primary respondents will report the food diary information for all household members via brief telephone interviews three times during the week. The primary household respondent will also be asked to complete three interviews: Start Printed Page 27702(1) Household Interview #1 will be conducted in person by a field interviewer at the start of the data collection week and will collect information about household demographics, food shopping, and participation in food assistance programs; (2) Household Interview #2 will be conducted by telephone in the middle of the data collection week and will collect information about non-food expenditures, income, and assets; (3) Household Interview #3 will be conducted in person at the end of the data collection week and will collect information about health status, diet and nutrition knowledge, and food security.

The field test will test the efficacy of two alternate survey protocols for collecting food data (“simple” and “comprehensive”) and two different incentive levels for time spent completing the forms. Respondent households will be randomly assigned to different survey protocols and incentive levels.

All study instruments will be kept as simple and respondent-friendly as possible. Responses are voluntary and confidential. Responses will be combined for statistical purposes and reported only in aggregate or statistical form. Data files from the field test will not be released to the public.

Affected Public: Respondent groups include: (1) Households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and (2) low-income households not participating in SNAP, where low-income is defined as household income at or below 185 percent of the poverty guidelines.

Estimated Number of Respondents: The estimated number of respondents for the field test includes: (1) 1,476 households screened for income eligibility (it is expected that 1,063 households, or 72 percent, will complete the screener and 413, or 28 percent, will not); (2) of the 585 households expected to be determined to be eligible for the survey after completing the screener, 503 (86 percent) are expected to agree to participate and complete Household Interview #1 and to collect food data, and 82, (14 percent) will not; (3) of the 82 households expected to decline participation in the survey, 61 (74 percent) are expected to complete the Short Form for Refusals, and 21 (26 percent) are expected to decline; (4) of the 503 households who complete Household Interview #1 and are eligible for remaining survey components, 453 (90 percent) are expected to complete Household Interview #2, reporting of food obtained for home preparation and consumption, and the food diary for all household members, and 50 (10 percent) will not; (5) of the 503 households who complete Household Interview #1, 402 (80 percent) are expected to complete Household Interview #3 and three Telephone interviews to report food diary information, and 101 (20 percent) will not; and (6) of the of the expected 1,207 food diaries to be completed (i.e., an average of 2.4 family members per household), 1,086 diaries (90 percent) are expected to be completed and 121 (10 percent) will not.

Estimates of the percentages of respondents who will agree to complete the forms are based, insofar as possible, on experience with previous data collections of similar complexity.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 9.37 (average). Estimated responses per respondent are as follows: All 1,476 sampled households will be asked to respond to the screener once; an estimated 585 survey-eligible households will be asked to respond to the Household Interview #1 once; an estimated 81 households will be asked to respond to the Short Form for Refusals once; an estimated 503 household completing Household Interview #1 will be asked to respond to Household Interview #2 once; and an estimated 452 households completing Household Interview #2 will be asked to respond to Household Interview #3 once.

The estimated 503 households completing Household Interview #1 will be asked to complete reports on and scan food brought into the home, with an estimated frequency of three times during the seven-day data collection period. An estimated 1,207 family members aged 11 and above (an average of 2.4 members per household) will be asked to complete seven daily food diaries for food not brought home. An estimated 503 households will be asked to report food diary information over the telephone three times.

Estimated Total Annual Responses: 13,827.

Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 hours. As shown in the table below, the estimated time of response varies from 0.13 hours (8 minutes) to 0.58 hours (35 minutes) per instrument for respondents and from 0.03 hours (2 minutes) to 0.08 hours (5 minutes) per instrument for non-respondents. These estimates of respondent burden are based on experience with previous data collections of similar complexity.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,400.67 hours. See the table below for the estimated total annual burden for each type of instrument.

Reporting Burden

DescriptionEstimated number of respondentsResponses annually per respondentTotal annual reponsesEstimated average number of hours per response *Estimated total annual hours of response burden
Household screener:
Completed interviews1,0631.001,0630.25265.75
Attempted interviews4131.004130.0834.42
Household Interview #1:
Completed interviews5031.005030.42209.58
Attempted interviews821.00820.086.83
Short Form for Refusals:
Completed interviews611.00610.138.13
Attempted interviews211.00210.030.70
Household Interview #2:
Completed interviews4531.004530.58264.25
Attempted interviews501.00500.052.50
Household Interview #3:
Completed interviews4021.004020.33134.00
Attempted interviews1011.001010.055.05
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Reporting food obtained for home preparation or consumption:
Completed reports4533.001,3590.17226.50
Attempted reports501.00500.052.50
Food diary:
Completed reports1,0867.007,6020.251,900.54
Attempted reports1203.003600.0830.00
Telephone reporting of “food away from home”:
Completed interviews4023.0012060.25301.50
Attempted interviews1011.001010.088.42
Total responding burden1,4769.3713,8270.253,400.67
* Estimates are rounded to the nearest hundredth.
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Dated: April 30, 2010.

Katherine R. Smith,

Administrator, Economic Research Service.

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[FR Doc. 2010-11832 Filed 5-17-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-18-P