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FIGURE 1-1 Factors affecting the process by which households may or may not achieve SNAP program goals.

of these resources at their disposal when they make decisions about what foods they will obtain and consume.

Individual and Household Factors

Even with a given level of total resources, different households (and individuals within them) will make different food choices. One reason for this variation is that individual and household factors greatly influence the types of foods families choose. In particular, personal preferences and cultural influences play a major role in decisions about what foods to obtain and consume. Different individuals may consume different amounts of fruits or vegetables not because of their available resources or the prices of these items, for example, but because of their taste for these foods. Other individual/household factors that may influence or constrain house-hold food choices include food and nutrition knowledge, food preparation skills and the space and equipment needed to prepare foods from basic ingredients, food budgeting abilities, and special needs for certain age groups and for the management of disease (e.g., nutrient deficiencies, infectious and chronic diseases). Because all these factors influence the amounts and types of foods obtained for a household at a given level of total resources, they may influence the feasibility of defining the adequacy of SNAP allotments. These themes are further developed in Chapter 4.

Environmental Factors

Many environmental factors may influence SNAP participants’ access to food, including factors that physically or financially facilitate or impede



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