This study aimed to: explore the number and spatial distribution of 9,556 SNAP stores in North Carolina by type and assess how SNAP benefit redemption is linked to store type; compare the demographics of populations living in areas with a high concentration of SNAP participants vs areas with a lower concentration of SNAP participants; and test for disparities in the availability of and access to SNAP-authorized stores in areas with high vs low concentration of SNAP participants stratified by rural/urban status. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census data were used to explore the spatial distribution of SNAP stores at the census block group level using a Geographic Information System. Among the SNAP stores in North Carolina, 83% were limited-variety stores and 17% were full-variety stores. More households in higher SNAP participant census block groups were non-white, did not have a car, and had children compared to census block groups with lower SNAP participation. Residents in high SNAP participant census block groups typically had access to 0 full-variety stores and 4 limited-variety stores in urban areas and 3 full-variety stores and 17 limited-variety stores in rural areas. This research suggests that SNAP participant access to a variety of stores should be considered when approving food stores for SNAP authorization.
Accessibility Landscapes of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Authorized Stores
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic … More
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
The rapid rise in food insecurity among households with children during COVID-19 has reinforced the critical role SNAP plays in reducing food insecurity and poverty, particularly in low-income communities of color. Waivers and other state program modifications enacted during the pandemic could improve access to SNAP and reduce income and … More