Coming Up Short: High food costs outstrip food stamp benefits (The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: Philadelphia, 2008)

Results are based on data collected in four stores in each of four Philadelphia neighborhoods (16 stores total). The average monthly cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) was $805, 49% higher than the maximum monthly food stamp benefit for a family of four. On average, the TFP could not be purchased with the maximum food stamp benefit in any of the participating neighborhoods; the maximum benefit was sufficient to purchase the TFP in only one of sixteen surveyed stores. Families in Philadelphia relying on small stores for their grocery needs pay the highest prices—nearly $850 according to our results.