Potential National Economic Benefits of the Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentives Program of the U.S. Agricultural Act of 2014
Keywords:Agricultural Act of 2014, Farm Bill, Federal Nutrition Benefits, SNAP, Nutrition Incentives, Economic Impacts
AbstractThe use of nutrition incentives in conjunction with federal nutrition benefits is intended in part to improve the diet of low-income consumers. The new program created by the U.S. Agricultural Act of 2014 is similar to the nutrition incentives that have been operated by select nonprofits and cities since the early part of the 2010s. The nutrition incentives as specified in the act will match redemptions of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and be used for purchasing only fruits and vegetables. In addition to the potential to provide health benefits, the proposed Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive Program may also create economic benefits. Extrapolations of data from a grassroots organization (Wholesome Wave) suggest that the economic benefits of the federal program are an estimated US$58–US$174 million per year, or 922–2,767 jobs per year, depending on how the program is implemented. The effectiveness and impact of the program hinges on the capacity of participating retail outlets, the size of the matching nutrition incentive, and the types of outlets where the SNAP nutrition incentives can be redeemed.
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