EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Are SNAP benefits adequate? A geographical and food expenditure decomposition

George C. Davis, Wen You and Yanliang Yang

Food Policy, 2020, vol. 95, issue C

Abstract: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides resources to supplement household food expenditures in order to achieve a nutritious diet. Determining the amount of support required - or extent of food expenditure poverty -- entails comparing available resources for food to a nutrition-determined threshold. Clearly the value of the threshold will affect the degree of food expenditure poverty. If the threshold value is inaccurate, the calculated degree of poverty will be inaccurate. USDA uses a threshold for setting SNAP benefits that does not vary geographically or temporally, so consequently (food expenditure) poverty may be understated or overstated in different regions and time periods. This article compares food expenditure poverty estimates for SNAP participants when geographical differences in the threshold are ignored versus not ignored. In addition, the article decomposes household food expenditures into Food-Away-From-Home (FAFH), Food-at-Home (FAH), personal funded FAH, and SNAP funded FAH in order to assess the degree to which each of these contribute to reducing food expenditure poverty. The general findings are that all food expenditure poverty measures are worse when geographical differences are taken into account. In addition, the analysis shows that FAH expenditures, and in particular SNAP FAH expenditures, contribute the most to reducing food expenditure poverty in SNAP households. The policy implications are that food expenditure poverty is currently underestimated in the US by ignoring geographical differences in thresholds, but the food expenditure poverty would be even worse without SNAP benefits. Geographical adjustments to the national threshold could help reduce food expenditure poverty across regions.

Keywords: FoodAPS; Food Expenditure Poverty; SNAP Benefits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919220301214
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:95:y:2020:i:c:s0306919220301214

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101917

Access Statistics for this article

Food Policy is currently edited by J. Kydd

More articles in Food Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nithya Sathishkumar ().

 
Page updated 2021-03-09
Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:95:y:2020:i:c:s0306919220301214