Food Assistance:

Nutritional Conditions and Program Alternatives in Puerto Rico

RCED-92-114: Published: Jul 21, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) in Puerto Rico, focusing on: (1) the nutritional needs of Puerto Rican citizens, including the elderly and children; and (2) potential alternatives for providing food and nutrition assistance.

GAO found that: (1) information on nutritional conditions and needs in Puerto Rico is limited; (2) the average diet in Puerto Rico appears sufficient to meet recommended dietary standards, but a current comprehensive survey of nutrition would cost approximately $2 million; (3) 1990 Puerto Rican NAP appropriations totaled $937 million, and 1.48 million Puerto Ricans participated in NAP; (4) restoring the Food Stamp Program, increasing benefits under NAP, and adjusting eligibility and benefit criteria are alternatives which could increase program participation and costs; (5) the estimated cost of reinstituting the Food Stamp Program would be about $1.6 billion; and (6) the estimated cost of expanding NAP to accommodate increased participation is about $1.3 billion.