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The High Cost of Cutting the Surplus Agricultural Products Grant
Report Published on February 10, 2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of Texans seeking food bank assistance has risen 200%. This dramatic increase in food insecurity has caused immeasurable stress and suffering, eroding the health and wellbeing of people across the state. In the midst of this greatly increased need for help, the surplus agricultural products grant, a key aspect of food bank support, has been drastically cut. If this reduction remains in place, the opportunity to acquire almost 20 million pounds of healthy local produce will be lost. Hunger involves quantifiable economic costs in the form of increased health care and social service needs, inferior educational outcomes, and lost productivity. The Perryman Group estimates that cutting the surplus agricultural products grant would cost the state economy hundreds of millions of dollars over time, with economic harms spreading across the entire economy. Because economic activity generates taxes, the cut would also lead to reductions in State and local taxes. State costs for health care and education would also rise due to the effects of hunger.

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Hunger: Economic Perspectives ‑ Sustainable Solutions
Report Published on November 06, 2014

Even beyond the obvious physical and mental costs of food insecurity and the incalculable toll on the stability and dignity of families across the United States, there is also a tremendous economic cost. Health care needs of people who are food insecure are higher due to increased incidence and severity of disease. Health outcomes are also worse, reducing productivity and lifetime earnings. In addition, education expenses are higher, with a greater need for intervention such as special education. Achievement levels (and, hence, lifetime earnings) are negatively affected. These costs multiply as they work their way through the business complex and are largely borne by the whole of society. The Perryman Group estimates that hunger costs the US economy $461.9 billion in total expenditures and $221.9 billion in gross product each year as well as nearly 2.5 million permanent jobs on an ongoing basis.

Tighter Food Assistance Restrictions Cost the US Economy Billions
Press Release Released on December 06, 2019

New rules restricting access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will cost the economy billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs. SNAP statute limits participation by adults ages 18-49 who do not have a dependent or a disability to three months of benefits in a 36-month period unless the certain conditions are met. States can waive these limits in areas where sufficient jobs are not available and exempt a percentage of individuals who are not work-capable. Recent changes have tightened the requirements for exemption, and the US Department of Agriculture estimates that the result will be that 688,000 persons lose their SNAP benefits.

Why is food insecurity such a significant economic problem?
Radio Spot Broadcast via Texas State Networks on January 25, 2021

Dr. Perryman describes the broader economic impacts of hunger in light of the pandemic. 

What consequences come with food insecurity in Texas?
Radio Spot Broadcast via Texas State Networks on February 24, 2017

One in six Texas families experienced food insecurity in the past year. Dr. Perryman says there are enormous consequences.

What impact does food insecurity have on the economy?
Radio Spot Broadcast via Texas State Networks on November 16, 2016

One in six Texas families experienced food insecurity in the past year. Dr. Perryman says there are enormous consequences.

The staggering economic costs of food insecurity
Radio Spot Broadcast via Texas State Networks on September 14, 2016

One in six Texas families experienced food insecurity in the last year; Dr. Perryman says there are enormous consequences.