Healthy Eating for a Low-income Family: SNAP

Catherine Elizabeth Luedtke,
Suzy Weems*,
Janelle Walter*,
Baylor University

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate healthy nutrition options for families living at or slightly above the poverty level. A hypothetical scenario was created and used as a basis for investigating food prices and determining the availability of healthy foods using SNAP allotments. Data were collected from local chain supermarkets. Then, a budget, shopping schedule, and meal plan were developed. A SNAP allotment of $468 per month was calculated for the hypothetical family of four, and our study found that healthful food could be provided for under $440. The results showed that SNAP allotments could indeed provide adequate resources for the purchase of nourishing foods for families on a low income.

Introduction: In our society today, much emphasis is being placed on nutrition and healthy living. Overall, healthy foods are considered to be more expensive in the minds of consumers. This is a common misconception that has not been supported in a convincing manner. Numerous studies and publications contain effective strategies on how to eat healthy within a budget (Langford, 2010; Palmer, 2009). However, a majority of these studies make suggestions targeting the middle and upper economic levels – those who can afford to adjust their grocery budget. This paper looks closely at families living at a low-income level.

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