Online Program

Nutrition assistance programs and increasing local food access for low-income communities

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jeanie Donovan, LBJ School of Public Affairs/UT School of Public Health, University of Texas at Austin/UT Health Science Center at Houston, Austin, TX
Amy Madore, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Kate Vickery, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Megan Randall, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
This goal of this project is evaluate linkages between food insecurity and the local food economy by examining municipal-level policy interventions that both increase access to healthy food for low-income consumers as well as incentivize the purchase of locally produced agricultural products. We investigate the degree to which nutrition assistance programs can serve as vehicles for improving low-income consumers access to locally-produced, healthy food and to what degree such programs could be scaled up by the City of Austin to reach more people. This research primarily consists of evaluating incentive programs that provide beneficiaries a discount for using their SNAP/WIC benefits to purchase produce at local farmers markets. In addition, we examine how farmers market SNAP/WIC incentive programs might be expanded to other retailers, such as CSAs, corner stores, mobile vendors, or traditional grocery stores.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the extent to which nutrition assistance incentive programs can serve as a mechanism for increasing access to locally-produced, healthy food for low income consumers. Formulate a report detailing current nutrition assistance incentive programmatic efforts in Austin, outlining best practices from other cities, and proposing an implementation plan to the Sustainable Food Policy Board and Austin City Council for scaling up at the city level.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate student of Public Affairs and Public Health, I have focused my coursework specifically on nutrition policy. Last semester I was part of a student-led initiative to start a nutrition policy course the LBJ School of Public Affairs that began this fall. I have maintained a 3.8+ GPA each semester. I have also worked on Texas state nutrition policy for the past 2 years as a policy research assistant at a local non-profit.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.