Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

2010

Journal or Book Title

Choices

Volume

25

Issue

3

Abstract

For decades, from the 1940s to the 1970s, the goal of U.S. food and nutrition assistance programs seemed clear: to make sure low-income Americans could afford enough food. By pursuing this goal, the programs would protect program participants from hunger and also support demand for farm products. Today, about one in five Americans receives benefits from at least one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food programs. The major programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), school meals programs—lunch and breakfast, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Despite the food programs’ goal of reducing hunger and improving nutrition, rising concern about overweight and obesity for all Americans has triggered arguments that targeted food benefits could be counter-productive. As a recent retrospective on a century of food and consumer economics explained, “The policy context for food assistance programs has changed in the past three decades.” (Unnevehr et al. 2010, p. 512).

JEL Classification

I18, I38, Q18

Comments

This is an article from Choices 25 (2010). Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Agricultural & Applied Economics Association

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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