—Chapter 4 discusses taste preferences, personal and social factors, and acculturation in the section “Food Choice.”
• How does variation in cost of food by location or local economy (regional vs. urban vs. suburban) need to be addressed?
—The section “Geographic and Regional Variations in Food Prices” in Chapter 4 describes variations in food prices across geographic regions of the United States. Tables 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3 display data on the variation in market prices among certain food groups and across market groups. Recommendation 1 in Chapter 6 addresses geographic price variability as a factor to consider in defining the adequacy of the SNAP allotment.
• Do variation in economic fluctuation and price change over the course of a federal fiscal year need to be factored into a definition? If so, how?
—Variations in food prices over time due to changes in the availability of supply of raw commodities, changes in farm level production costs, changes in food processing costs, and seasonal variation are described in the section “Variation in Food Prices Over Time Due to Inflationary Factors” in Chapter 4. Chapter 2 describes the lag time from the calculation of the Thrifty Food Plan cost and adjustments to the maximum SNAP benefit to account for inflation. Recommendation 2 in Chapter 6 addresses economic fluctuation over the federal fiscal year as a factor to consider in defining the adequacy of the SNAP allotment.
• What demographic, compositional, and other household variations need to be considered?
—The section “Household and Individual Factors” in Chapter 4 includes a discussion of household variations that need to be considered, such as family structure, acculturation, and employment status. Recommendation 1 in Chapter 6 identifies specific household variations that should be considered in defining the adequacy of the SNAP allotment.
Questions related to determining the data and analyses needed to support an evidence-based assessment of SNAP adequacy were
• Are the data available to establish an operational definition? Are there limitations? If data are not available, how can they be obtained?
—Discussions of data needs and limitations are located in Chapter 3 in the section “Data and Analytical Challenges to Assessing