GardenShare

GardenShare

Thursday, January 8, 2015

SNAP HEALTHY FOOD INCENTIVES MAY LOWER HEALTH COSTS


A number of studies have shown that creating incentives for SNAP recipients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables increases their consumption of healthy foods significantly. The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) in Massachusetts offered SNAP recipients a 30-cent reimbursement for every dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables, and resulted in a 25% increase in fruit and vegetable consumption over the control group. The pilot also increased healthy food consumption regardless of whether or not the participants lived in a food desert – SNAP recipients made an effort to find stores, even those further away, that offered fresh fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods help manage weight and reduce obesity and other diseases, which could lead to savings in Medicaid and Medicare. In 2012, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future stated, “improving [the] diets of low-income Americans through SNAP pricing incentives [is] a public health priority. USDA recently launched a grant program, funded through the Farm Bill, and Wholesome Waves’ double-value coupon program for SNAP recipients expanded to 21 states, serving more than 40,000 families.


Source: Huffington Post, 12/10/14, SNAP Healthy Foods