Food Stamp Program: Options for Delivering Financial Incentives to Participants for Purchasing Targeted Foods

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2007, the Food Stamp Program provided about $30.4 billion in nutrition assistance benefits to 26.5 million individuals. Benefits are issued through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, similar to debit cards, to purchase eligible foods at authorized retail stores. The diets of many low-income individuals, like the U.S. population overall, do not meet federal dietary guidelines. One potential strategy for increasing the purchases of targeted foods that contribute to a healthy diet is to incorporate into the program financial incentives for purchasing these foods. ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 30, 2008.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In fiscal year 2007, the Food Stamp Program provided about $30.4 billion in nutrition assistance benefits to 26.5 million individuals. Benefits are issued through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, similar to debit cards, to purchase eligible foods at authorized retail stores. The diets of many low-income individuals, like the U.S. population overall, do not meet federal dietary guidelines. One potential strategy for increasing the purchases of targeted foods that contribute to a healthy diet is to incorporate into the program financial incentives for purchasing these foods. GAO was asked to identify (1) what is known about the effectiveness of financial incentives and other approaches intended to increase the purchase of targeted foods, (2) the key factors to consider in designing a financial incentive program, and (3) options available to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for implementing financial incentives. GAO interviewed agency and state officials, retailers and associations, private EBT contractors, and other stakeholders; convened a panel of 17 experts; and conducted a literature review. In commenting on this report, FNS generally agreed with GAO's findings and concluding observations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 30, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Food Stamp Program: Options for Delivering Financial Incentives to Participants for Purchasing Targeted Foods, report, July 30, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302669/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.