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Jul 24, 2013

USDA Efforts to Make SNAP Healthier

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Results of Healthy Incentives Pilot; Discusses Additional USDA Efforts to Encourage Healthier SNAP Purchases

24 July 2013, USDA, Washington, D.C. -- "Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the results of USDA's Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) and discussed additional steps USDA and its partners are taking to encourage recipients to purchase healthy foods using SNAP benefits.

Authorized by Congress through the 2008 Farm Bill, HIP tested the impact of incentivizing fruit and vegetable purchases among a small group of SNAP recipients in Hampden, Mass. The pilot determined that an ongoing investment of less than 15 cents per person per day may result in a 25 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults. Adults receiving the HIP incentive consumed, on average, an ounce more fruits and vegetables per day than non-participants.
"Although healthy foods aren't necessarily more expensive, many low income people face time and resource challenges when it comes to putting healthy food on the table that can make less healthy options seem more appealing," said Vilsack. "The results of the Healthy Incentives Pilot demonstrate the clear impact that promoting nutritious food choices can have on improving the healthfulness of SNAP purchases."
Vilsack also highlighted ongoing public-private efforts that provide support and incentives to SNAP participants to purchase more healthy foods. He cited a pilot project in Minnesota that offers $5 coupons to SNAP households for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables and a pilot project in Michigan to make locally sourced produce available in corner grocery stores in metropolitan Detroit.

"Research to date shows that incentives can work, but we know that no single solution can solve the problems of poor diet and obesity among American children and families," said Vilsack. "That is why we are supporting a broad spectrum of SNAP-focused strategies that empower low-income families to purchase more healthy foods." ..."

Curated by Dr. Margaret Carroll Boardman on Scoop.it GR2 Food, Nutrition and Health via www.usda.gov

About Margaret


CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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