Published: November 2019

ID #: 74130

Journal: Health Affairs

Authors: Rummo PE, Noriega D, Parret A, Harding M, Hesterman O, Elbel BE

See more related research

Share


Pricing incentives may reduce disparities in obesity among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants by increasing fruit and vegetable purchases. However, few studies have evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of those incentives in supermarkets, as opposed to farmers markets. In 2015 and 2016, as part of a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program, a dollar-matching program in Michigan provided SNAP participants with a subsidy on fresh produce purchases. Using data on millions of individual transactions from thirty-two stores, we found that SNAP participants’ spending on fresh produce was significantly higher at stores that implemented the subsidy than at control stores during both intervention periods (7.4 percent and 2.2 percent higher in 2015 and 2016, respectively). Our results highlight the effectiveness and feasibility of dollar-matching programs for fruit and vegetable purchases by SNAP participants who shop at supermarkets, and they support the USDA’s expansion of existing programs to that setting in additional states.

Related Research

November 2016

Evaluating the Impact of Subsidizing Purchases of Fresh Produce in Supermarkets for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipients

The 2014 Farm Bill Authorization included $100 million to promote the purchase of fresh produce among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants through matching financial incentives for every SNAP dollar spent on fresh produce. As part of this, the Fair Food Network (FFN) received over $5 million to expand its SNAP match program, Double Up More

June 2022

Additional Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Pregnant WIC Clients: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Food Security and Diet Quality

Women with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to More

June 2022

Dynamics of macroeconomic factor effects on food assistance program participation in the United States

Macroeconomic factors relating to economic, financial, and sociological stress are identified and their impacts assessed concerning participation in key food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, and NSLP). The econometric analysis covers the period October 1999 to September 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on participation in these programs also is quantified. Based on the parameter estimates obtained More