Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-29-2) 4 pp

September 2007

Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective-Stretching the Food Stamp Dollar: Regional Price Differences Affect Affordability of Food

Significant regional differences in food prices affect how far food stamp benefits can go toward enhancing the diet of low-income consumers in a given region. In regions where average food prices exceed the national average, food stamp benefits may not provide the same level of coverage as the same benefit would in below-average-price regions. This report measures average prices paid across U.S. regions. Results show that a household made up of a family of four in the East or West could spend $32-$48 more per month for a similar amount of food than the average U.S. household, whereas a household in the South and Midwest could spend $12-28 less per month than the average U.S. household.

Keywords: Food Stamp Program, food consumption, food prices, food expenditures, nutrition education, behavioral economics, food choices, diet, health, fruits and vegetables, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, FANRP

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Last updated: Thursday, September 27, 2007

For more information, contact: Ephraim Leibtag and Ephraim Leibtag