A new USDA survey indicates…
A new survey funded by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Food and Nutrition Service is ideally suited to answer these questions. The National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) collected information from a national sample of 4,826 households between April 2012 and January 2013 about where they shop for food and other unique, comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. FoodAPS is unique because it sampled a relatively large number of households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as nonparticipant households from three income levels.
Initial findings from the survey reveal that SNAP participants are less likely than nonparticipants to drive their own vehicle to their primary store—the one where they shop most often—and more likely to rely on someone else or to walk, bike, or take public transit. Sixty-eight percent of SNAP participants use their own cars for food shopping compared with 95 percent of non-poor households (i.e., those with household incomes above 185 percent of the Federal poverty line).
Households, the survey shows, don’t necessarily shop at the store that is closest to them. Our analysis shows that SNAP participants live an average of 2.0 miles from the closest SNAP-authorized store, but travel 3.4 miles to their primary store. Similarly, we found that non-poor households live an average of 2.2 miles from a grocery store, but primarily shopped at a store 4.0 miles from home. When it comes to our main grocery shopping, all of us—poor and not poor—bypass the store closet to our homes to shop at one that offers the prices, variety, or services we are looking for.
The challenge is how do we get SNAP participants to consider nutrition and health as part of their equation both when choosing a “regular” grocery store and when they need to make choices on the closest option. (We’ve all been there, short of time and energy, we buy what’s near us.)
Learning ZoneXpress has a range of materials that might help:
The Super Cart tablet pits two grocery carts side-by-side to determine which is the better choice - both nutritionally and price wise. Do a quick comparison and it’s easy to see: the Super Cart contains food choices that are both good for you and good for your budget. Tablet backside features a grocery shopping checklist with space to add your own grocery choices and top ten tips for grocery shopping that can save money and help you eat healthy.
Looking for the most bang for your buck at the grocery store? Want to know the nutrition values in the aisles of your grocery store? Look no further than The Grocery Shopping Challenge! Get the inside scoop on what stores do to get you to spend more at the checkout. Join Megan and Josh as they venture their way through the grocery store with the same shopping list to see who gets the better nutrition value and price for eight common grocery items. Learn some tricks grocery stores use to get you to spend more, and how to separate the hype from the deals so you can eat well for less.