Food Security and Food Access Among Emergency Food Pantry Households
This study characterizes the food security and food access of households that receive food from emergency food pantries. Unlike other analyses of food access that focus exclusively on retail food stores, this study considers access to emergency food pantries as well. It finds that at least 50 percent of emergency food pantry households have access to a pantry and at least 45 percent of pantry households have access to a supermarket or superstore authorized to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits within 0.6 miles of where they live. The study also finds that food pantry households with greater access to emergency food pantries are less likely to be food insecure. The corresponding relationship of household food insecurity with access to retail food establishments is weak and not statistically significant. The relationship between access to emergency food pantries and household food security holds for many subgroups of interest to social welfare policy officials, including households with children and households with income below the Federal poverty threshold, but not the complements of these subgroups, such as households without children and households with income at or above the poverty threshold.