GardenShare is a locally led, nonprofit organization with a mission to solve the problem of hunger in St. Lawrence County through policy advocacy work and by strengthening the food system to benefit all County residents.
GardenShare's vision for our community:
Healthy Food – Healthy Farms – Everybody Eats
Sunday, November 16, 2014
WHY SNAP PARTICIPANTS MIGHT NOT EAT HEALTHY MEALS
Several studies, including a new one
from USDA, show that SNAP participants eat less healthy diets than
nonparticipants. A prolonged
low-quality diet is a concern because, over time, poor dietary patterns and
excess consumption of empty calories can lead to diet-related health problems,
weight gain, and obesity.
The USDA study reveals that adult SNAP participants
are aware that their diets need improvement, and they know what they should be eating.Greater constraints on food budgets and less
easy access to food stores may partially explain SNAP participants’ food
choices. USDA found that 70% of SNAP respondents rated how well a product keeps
as very important, and SNAP participants place more importance on price and
convenience compared to higher income shoppers.
The higher value that SNAP shoppers placed on how well
food keeps is understandable. Compared to higher income shoppers, SNAP shoppers
are more likely to shop once a month or less. This may be related to the
monthly distribution of SNAP benefits or to having a more difficult time
getting to the grocery store—14% of SNAP respondents reported that it took them
more than 30 minutes to get to a grocery store. When consumers shop less frequently,
choosing foods that keep well would be important.