A report from a research team from the Boston Medical Center Department of Pediatrics revealing that, on average, the monthly cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (upon which Food Stamp Program benefits are based) is $27 more than the maximum monthly food stamp benefit allowance. A low-cost healthier diet based on the most recent nutrition guidelines exceeded the maximum monthly food stamp benefit by $148 — an annual differential of $1,776. This is an unrealistic budgetary stretch for most families who qualify for nutrition assistance.

The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: Healthful Foods Are Out of Reach for Low-Income Families in Boston, Massachusetts (2005)

Millions of United States households face significant barriers to healthy eating, leading to high rates of both undernutrition and overweight among American families. Both nutrient under-consumption (consuming too few of some essential nutrients) and energy over-consumption (consuming an excess of calories) lead to serious health problems in adults and children. Both phenomena are related to food insecurity and poverty. Improved access to healthful foods can prevent or improve these two conditions and their associated health consequences.