Healthy Incentives Pilot
Healthy Incentives Pilot. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke with reporters yesterday to announce the results of USDA's Healthy Incentives Pilot and discussed additional steps USDA and its partners are taking to encourage recipients to purchase healthy foods using SNAP benefits.
VILSACK: A lot of concern has been expressed about the SNAP program over time concerning what folks SNAP can purchase. And as a result of that concern 2 years ago we began a study in the State of Massachusetts, where we engaged nearly 4,000 SNAP households, encouraged over a hundred retailers as well as 16 farmers markets to assist us in determining whether or not incentives might work to encourage more fruit and vegetable production and consumption.
Vilsack says they provided a benefit of 30 cents for every dollar spent.
VILSACK: And so in other words there was a 30 cent opportunity for extending your SNAP card by purchasing targeted fruits and vegetables. These would be fruits and vegetables without added sugar, without added fat and oils to whether or not that incentive would indeed make a difference.
He says that the incentives seemed to work.
VILSACK: We found that these families spend about $77 dollars a month on fruits and vegetables and that was, I think, an encouraging sign to us to suggest that incentives like this may be an effective way to encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption and to encourage more nutritious food purchases.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.