Food Waste Due to Poor Products
The idea of food aid originated from the excess amount of agricultural commodities. around the time of the great depression. There was an abundance of food during this time, so the Food Stamp Act of 1964 was created in hopes to counteract this and to also assist those in.need, or those that would be considered “food insecure.” Food insecurity is divided into two different types, low and very low, and is defined by The United States Department of Agriculture as.“Low food security: reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake. Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake”. In 2016 the USDA took surveys on food insecurity and found that a totally of 12.3 percent of households in the United States were food insecure and 4.9 percent identified as very low food security. In 2017 the numbers are even lower, with 11.8 percent total households that were food insecure and 4.5 percent that were very low. USDA’s Economic Research Service reported that these numbers have been steadily declining since the. recession in 2007. Although these surveys do not cover every house hold in the nation, so these numbers are really just estimates of reality, and the actual numbers could be even higher.
Some states have it worse off then others as do different areas in each state. The ERS states that the lowest rate of food insecurity is in Hawaii, at 7.4 percent, and the highest is 17.9 percent in New Mexico. It is also found that food insecurity is around 13.8 percent in cities of metropolitan areas and 13.3 percent in rural areas, which is higher than the national average. The percentage in suburban areas and other metropolitan areas outside principal cities was found to be around 9.4 percent, which is lower than the national average. Then looking at all the regions in the United States, the South had the highest rate of all at 13.4 percent, then the Midwest at 11.7 percent, the West with 10.7 percent, and the Northeast, with the lowest rate of 9.9 percent.
How it works
Food aid policies have been in place for decades. The Food Stamp act of 1964 was put in place on August 31, 1964 and its act states that its purpose is “To strengthen the agricultural. economy; to help to achieve a fuller and more effective use of food abundances; to provide for. improved levels of nutrition among low-income households through a cooperative Federal-State. program of food assistance to be operated through normal channels of trade; and for other. purposes.” Over the years The Food Stamp Act has been added too and revised to better suit the growing and different needs of today’s society, the ones that are in place today and are more. common, but not limited to, are; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the. National. School Lunch Program. Each of these programs are geared towards different groups and have a different purpose but they all fall under the same main idea. That idea being defined in the Food Stamp Act of 1964 itself:.
In order to promote the general welfare, that the Nation’s abundance of food should be. utilized cooperatively by the States, the Federal Government, and local governmental. units to the maximum extent practicable to safeguard the health and well-being of the. Nation’s population and raise levels of nutrition among low-income households. The Congress hereby finds that increased utilization of foods in establishing and maintaining. adequate national levels of nutrition will tend to cause the distribution in a beneficial. manner of our agricultural abundances and will strengthen our agricultural economy, as. well as result in more orderly marketing and distribution of food. To effectuate the policy of Congress and the purposes of this Act, a food stamp program, which will permit those. households with low incomes to receive a greater share of the Nation’s food abundance,. is herein authorized.
Although these programs may operate differently and put focus on different groups,.they all have the same intentions as each other, and that is to help those in need.
These are the terms surrounding this policy, according to the USDA. The Secretary of Agriculture is in charge of establishing a food stamp program where,. whoever they determine is eligible for such, will be able to obtain access to nutritional food. These households will receive coupons,.or stamps, that process a greater value the normal cost of food. These coupons will only be for use at specific store s that have been approved for participation in this program. There is also supposed to be no additional federal food handouts in these areas. The next part of the policy states what households are eligible to participate in the program. These households are defined as ones whose income it lower than that is appropriate enough to purchase nutritional. meals. Each state participating in this program is in charge of determining the eligibility of each household by looking at income limitations verses standard income of federally aided assistant. programs. The state also gets to put limitation on which resources will be available for purchase through the program. Such coupons given out are only to be used by the household which they were given to. Then the state has to determine what allotment will be given to each household. Individual households are charged, as seen fit by the state,.in regard to what their normal food. expenses would be, then they are given the excess money needed in coupons to assist in. purchasing better food. This amount is also not allows to be considered income for taxation purposes. The funds that are charged for each allotment are then placed into an account used to redeem coupons. Determined next are what stores will be able to participate. Each “retail food” store. wanting to participate has to put in an application and be review buy certain criteria; how much. they are invested into retail or wholesale food and if it’s acceptable, what is there possible use of. coupons that they would get, and how well the business is ran and it is done well, with good. reputation and integrity.
As for the administration, the main purpose of these efforts is so that family’s properly. use their allotments,.as in purchasing the foods that are actually necessary to enhance their diets, and lives all together. The states themselves and the agencies within each state are the ones responsible for keeping the proper records,.on hand, of how they conduct business in compliance with the regulations. Violations of usage, how these coupons are acquired, or illegal possession or transfer of coupons, depending on the value of said coupons the violators can either be. charged with a felony or a misdemeanor and be sentenced to jail time. The administration, violations and the enforcement of these policies are where the main issues get brought out.
In retrospect these policies are very good things that provide aid to people in need. When used properly low-income families can benefit from them very much and possibly even slightly. improve their whole financial situation, but when used improperly they create consequences for. many. Some of the issues that come with the misuse and poor administration of these policies are; increased dependency on food aid, higher taxes, and premature use of monthly allotment.
In a way these policies are inhibiting dependency of families and individuals and making. then rely on federal benefits, of course there is not always another choice for these families at. some points in their life, but these programs are not designed to take care of a family or an. individual for the rest of their days, they are only put in place to aid them for a period of time. Although, usually once these families or even individuals become a receiver of the benefits they. feel as though they are going to be taken care of from now on and do not aim to get to the point. where they can sustain themselves. This down fall leads to the next one, and that is increased expenses for the programs and higher taxes. The more people who are participating in these programs, the more the tax payers have to pay to help support them. These programs are both federal and state funded, the federal payments account for about half of the expenditures, .the state is then in charge of the rest meaning the people who occupy that state are also being. charged in the form of taxation.
One of the main issues found with food aid programs, SNAP in particular, is the over use of given allotments before the month is over. Studies done by the USDA show that receivers of these benefits have issues acquiring food by mid to the end of the month. These studies show that nearly 60% of participants use up anywhere from 90 percent to 100 percent of their . allotments during the first two weeks of the month. This creates an obvious issue for those participants, the purpose of the benefits is to be able to supply food for people for the entire. month so when they run out before the months end they have to resort to using alternative food. distributing resources, for example, soup kitchens and food banks. These kinds of distributers face higher demands towards the end of the month, which is sometimes difficult for them to. meet.also. (revisit this idea)
The 2008 Farm Bill (“Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008,” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ246/pdf/PLAW-110publ246.pdf
– amended the previous Farm Bill, passed in 2002, by stipulating that SNAP benefits could not be issued more than once a month: “(B) MULTIPLE ISSUANCES. The procedure may include issuing benefits to a household in more than 1 issuance during a month only when a benefit correction is necessary.” (Section 4113. Clarification of Split Issuance) The 2014 Farm Bill
did not amend this provision of SNAP requirements.
– Before the 2008 Farm Bill, there was discussion among program practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts that food stamp participants should be able to opt for semi-monthly benefit issuance in order to avoid the end-of-the-month problem. With EBT cards, this benefit election would be automatic and would pose minimal burden on states’ administrative offices. The monthly benefit amount would be the same, but divided into two payments. Semi-monthly benefits would also help retailers in spreading out sales over the month. However, the 2008 Farm Bill removed the possibility of semi-monthly benefit issuance. Discussion has continued on the need for this option. In response to retailers’ request for spreading out benefit issuance, some states have increased the number of days in their issuance schedules. So, although participants receive benefits only once a month, different participants receive benefits on different days of the month, avoiding a rush on retail stores on the first of the month.
If the Secretary determines that in the administration of the program there is a failure by a State agency to comply substantially with the provisions of this Act, or with the regulations issued pursuant to this Act, or with the State plan of operation, he shall inform such State agency of such failure and shall allow the State agency a reasonable period of time for the correction of such failure. Upon the expiration of such period, the Secretary shall direct that there be no further issuance of coupons in the political subdivisions where such failure has occurred until such time as satisfactory corrective action has been taken.
- ‘Key Statistics & Graphics.’ USDA ERS – Food Environment Atlas. September 05, 2018. Accessed November 30, 2018. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics.aspx.
- ‘Understanding the Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Food Insecurity in the United States.’ USDA ERS – Food Environment Atlas. September 06, 2017. Accessed November 30, 2018. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2017/september/understanding-the-prevalence-severity-and-distribution-of-food-insecurity-in-the-united-states/.
- ‘Food Insecurity Declined in 2017, ERS Finds.’ AgriPulse RSS. September 05, 2018. Accessed November 30, 2018. https://www.agri-pulse.com/articles/11405-food-insecurity-rate-declined-in-2017-ers-finds.
- ‘The Food Stamp Act of 1964 (PL 88-525).’ Food and Nutrition Service. September 30, 2016. Accessed November 30, 2018. https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/food-stamp-act-1964-pl-88-525.
- Hamrick, Karen S., and Margaret Andrews. ‘SNAP Participants’ Eating Patterns over the Benefit Month: A Time Use Perspective.’ PLOS ONE. July 13, 2016. Accessed December 02, 2018. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0158422.
- Castner, Laura, and Juliette Hanke. ‘Benefit Redemption Patterns in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.’ Food and Nutrition Service. August 16, 2016. Accessed December 02, 2018. https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/benefit-redemption-patterns-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program.
- Todd, Jessica E. ‘Revisiting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Cycle of Food Intake: Investigating Heterogeneity, Diet Quality, and a Large Boost in Benefit Amounts.’ OUP Academic. November 26, 2014. Accessed December 02, 2018. https://academic.oup.com/aepp/article/37/3/437/8261.
- ‘Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.’ Authenticated U.S. Government Information (GPO). June 18, 2008. Accessed December 2, 2018. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ246/pdf/PLAW-110publ246.pdf.
- ‘Agricultural Act of 2014.’ Authenticated U.S. Government Information (GPO). 2014. Accessed December 2, 2018. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr2642enr/pdf/BILLS-113hr2642enr.pdf.
- Barnhill, Anne, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Doggett. Food, Ethics, and Society: An Introductory Text with Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.