Where Do Americans Usually Shop for Food and How Do They Travel To Get There? Initial Findings from the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey
By Ver Ploeg M, Mancino L, Todd J, Clay D, Scharadin B
The National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is the first survey to collect unique and comprehensive data about food purchases and acquisitions for a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. This report compares shopping patterns of (1) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households to low- and higher income nonparticipant households, (2) participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to nonparticipants, and (3) food-insecure to food-secure households. SNAP participating and food-insecure households are less likely to drive their own car to do their primary food shopping and more likely to get rides from someone else or walk, bike, or take public transit. However, these differences in transportation mode do not translate into differences in the types of stores used for grocery shopping among SNAP and food-insecure households. Also, many households bypass the store that is closest to them to shop at another store. For example, among SNAP households, the nearest store was, on average, 2.0 miles from the household, but the store primarily used for grocery shopping was, on average, 3.4 miles from the household. Similar patterns hold for WIC participating and food-insecure households and for households that use someone else’s car or other forms of transportation to get to the grocery store.
This research was funded by the USDA Economic Research Service.
January 18, 2018
Ver Ploeg M, Mancino L, Todd J, Clay D, Scharadin B (2015) Where Do Americans Usually Shop for Food and How Do They Travel To Get There? Initial Findings From the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey, EIB-138. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Available online: https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/43953/eib138_errata.pdf?v=42636