Using economic modeling, this study seeks to advance nutritional equity by identifying ways to lower economic barriers to healthy eating among low-income households with children. This study will identify mechanisms for directing unhealthy food and beverage tax revenues towards healthy incentives, particularly through existing federally-funded, but local and state-run programs such as WIC and SNAP. A flexible demand system model will be used to estimate how households respond to price changes across food/beverage categories given budgetary constraints. The analysis will focus on WIC and/or SNAP participating households that also have a child or children 0 to 8 years of age. Price elasticity estimates will be used to stimulate how price reductions via different degrees of incentives on foods and beverages meeting WIC nutrition standards will change purchase patterns. Furthermore, estimates of price elasticities of demand will be used to stimulate price increases via taxes on unhealthy ultra-processed products among WIC and/or SNAP households with children. The combined (incentive + disincentive) policies and their impact on food purchase patterns will be used to identify mechanisms at the state/local levels for implementing incentives.
Studying the impact of combining fiscal incentives and disincentives to improve healthy food purchases by low-income households with children
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