Providing additional money to food-insecure households and its effect on food expenditure: a randomized controlled trial.
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVES: Financial constraint is the underpinning determinant of household food insecurity; however, there has been little research examining the impact that increasing the ‘money available’ to food-insecure households could have on food purchasing. The main objective of the present study was to examine the effect of additional money (in the form of supermarket vouchers) on food expenditure in food-insecure households with children.
DESIGN: A parallel randomized controlled trial with a 4-week baseline phase followed by a 4-week intervention phase. Households were randomized to either receive vouchers (coupons) for 4 weeks or a control group that did not receive any vouchers.
SETTING: Dunedin, New Zealand.
SUBJECTS: Low-income households with children (≤18 years) reporting food insecurity (n 214).
RESULTS: The mean monetary value of the vouchers received by households was $NZ 17·00 per week. The voucher group spent $NZ 15·20 (95 % CI 1·46, 28·94) more per week on food during the intervention phase compared with the control group (P = 0·030). There were no differences in expenditure between the voucher and the control group for the food groups ‘fruit and vegetables’ (mean difference: $NZ 0·46; 95 % CI -1·97, 2·89; P = 0·709), ‘meat and poultry’ (mean difference: $NZ 0·29; 95 % CI -3·07, 3·64; P = 0·866) and ‘dairy’ (mean difference: $NZ 0·82; 95 % CI -0·75, 2·42; P = 0·302).
CONCLUSIONS: Providing money via supermarket vouchers to food-insecure households resulted in an increase in overall expenditure on food.