Higher Prices, Fewer Choices: Shopping for Food in Rural America

View this Publication

Report presents key findings of a Public Voice nationwide study that sought to examine the access to supermarkets in rural America and to determine the actual cost and availability of foods in a “Thrifty Food Plan” (TFP)(as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) market basket and persistently poor rural America.

Key findings include: 1) Food stamp benefit allotments are not adequate to purchase the foods necessary for the minimally adequate diet, the Thrifty Food Plan, for persons living in persistently poor rural America; 2) One out of every three food stamp dollars is spent in the smaller food stores in persistently poor rural America, while the other two dollars are spent in supermarkets; 3) Rural America has limited access to the competitively priced supermarkets; 4) The availability of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats is extremely limited in the small/medium stores in persistently poor rural America.

Key recommendations are as follows: 1) Provide adequate food stamp benefit allotments to recipients; 2)Assist smaller food stores become more competitively priced and offer a wider variety of fresh produce and meats.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
Latest From Aspen CSG
outdoor rec report page cover
Mapping a New Terrain: Call to Action

As new rural outdoor recreation economies take root, we can meet this moment by improving how we do outdoor recreation development to better support rural families, businesses, and workers, create more sustainable and equitable economic systems, and improve local health and wellbeing.

Wealth Creation in Rural and Indigenous Places

Sep. 19th, 2023, 2PM

Learn how rural practitioners are advancing equitable prosperity and economic development in a way that embraces and strengthens the unique assets of rural regions.

WealthWorks: A Powerful Tool for Thriving Rural Places

WealthWorks is an approach to doing economic development differently that inspired and continues to inform the Thrive Rural Framework. Learn more about the WealthWorks approach.

Broadband technician working
Broadband Resources

A collection of broadband resources for funding, advocacy, and community program opportunities for rural community leaders.

collaborating partners
How To Organize a Rural Action Infrastructure

Discussion with rural leaders on the opportunity equitable outdoor recreation economies pose to rural areas.

Queer youth in celebratory gathering
Rural and Native Celebrations of the LGBTQ+ Community

A collection of rural, queer organizations and stories about rural communities and Native nations celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these moments to learn more about how queer people are celebrated in rural spaces. 

Brookings logo
Rural Policy Resources

A collection of resources provided by the Brookings Institution emerging from their rural research.