To What Degree Does Food Assistance Help Poor Households Acquire Enough Food?
The research presented adds to the knowledge base on the efficacy of public and private food assistance in alleviating food shortages among poor households by considering the effects of all major forms of domestic food assistance - Food Stamps, WIC, and food pantries. The analyses are based on detailed data that were collected in 1993 from 398 low-income households in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This research contributes to the current food assistance literature in three ways. First, a methodological contribution - a refinement of the standard food consumption model - is recommended to address biased estimation procedures. Second, the standard food consumption model is extended to include the effects of both public and private food assistance. The third contribution goes beyond asking to what degree food assistance increases food expenditures and instead examines the effect each of the widely available forms of food assistance has on helping poor households acquire enough resources to potentially meet basic nutritional requirements. Research findings suggest that compared with other forms of food assistance, the receipt of a significant amount in Food Stamps has a much greater impact on whether a household attains at least the Thrifty Food Plan than the receipt of food from a food pantry or through the WIC program.
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- Barbara Devaney & Thomas Fraker, 1986. "Cashing out food stamps: Impacts on food expenditures and diet quality," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 725-741.
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- Beth Osborne Daponte & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 1999. "Why Do Low-Income Households not Use Food Stamps? Evidence from an Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 612-628.
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- Gundersen, Craig & LeBlanc, Michael & Kuhn, Betsey A., 1999. "The Changing Food Assistance Landscape: The Food Stamp Program in a Post-Welfare Reform Environment," Agricultural Economics Reports 33993, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Parke E. Wilde & Paul E. McNamara & Christine K. Ranney, 1999. "The Effect of Income and Food Programs on Dietary Quality: A Seemingly Unrelated Regression Analysis with Error Components," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 959-971.
- James Tobin, 1956. "Estimation of Relationships for Limited Dependent Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 3R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Andrews, Margaret S. & Nord, Mark, 2001. "Food Security Is Improving in the United States," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33641, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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