Can higher prices help alleviate food insecurity?

Firstly, I completely agree that if food prices are lower then more people will be able to afford food. I do not refute this robust finding at all. I was given data on donations to food banks and found that overall, lower priced retailers (such as Aldi and Wal-Mart) would donate greater volume over the course over the year. However, when higher priced retailers (Publix or Wegmans) donate they give a greater volume of donation than a lower priced retailer. For example, if Wal-Mart gives a donation at 10am on Monday and Wegmans gives a donation at 10am on Monday then it’s likely that Wegmans will have given more. I also found that higher priced retailers would give a greater value of goods per donation (e.g. more higher priced goods). So, can higher prices help, partly yes because higher priced retailers are more likely to give greater volume of food to food banks (per donation).

Also, if you are curious. The lowest priced retailer in our sample was BJ’s Wholesale Market while the highest priced retailer was Publix (Wal-mart was the 6th cheapest out of 11 retailers). The greatest volume of donations came from Wal-Mart.

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