Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Value of the Women, Infants, and Children Program's Fruit and Vegetable Voucher

16 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Metin Çakir

Metin Çakir

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Timothy K.M. Beatty

University of York

Michael A. Boland

Kansas State University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Timothy A. Park

Economic Research Service, USDA

Samantha Snyder

Macalester College

Yanghao Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

Increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among children and low‐income households is a public health policy priority in the United States. We investigate temporal and spatial price patterns for fresh fruits and vegetables to evaluate the extent to which the value of the fruit and vegetable Cash‐Value‐Voucher (CVV) of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may be affected by unequal price levels and changes in price levels across the United States. Our findings show that price differences over space and time have real and consequential impacts on the purchasing power of the CVV. A WIC Program participant in the highest‐cost Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) can buy significantly fewer fruits and vegetables than a participant who receives the same benefit in the lowest‐cost MSA. Further, we find that the value of the CVV has substantially declined across all MSAs since 2009. We discuss the nutritional implications of the variation in the value of the CVV and evaluate potential mechanisms that could be implemented to maintain equal CVV benefits across time and space.

Keywords: Anti-poverty programs, food and nutrition policy, fruits and vegetables, infant health, index numbers, panel price indices, public assistance, purchasing power, SNAP, WIC

Suggested Citation

Çakir, Metin and Beatty, Timothy K.M. and Boland, Michael A. and Park, Timothy A. and Snyder, Samantha and Wang, Yanghao, Spatial and Temporal Variation in the Value of the Women, Infants, and Children Program's Fruit and Vegetable Voucher (April 2018). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 100, Issue 3, pp. 691-706, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aay002

Metin Çakir (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Timothy K.M. Beatty

University of York

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Michael A. Boland

Kansas State University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

Manhattan, KS 66506-4001
United States

Timothy A. Park

Economic Research Service, USDA ( email )

Washington, DC 22207
United States
(202)694-5446 (Phone)

Samantha Snyder

Macalester College

1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
United States

Yanghao Wang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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