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SNAP Healthy Incentives Expanded in 2023 with $25M USDA Investment
SNAP retailers are key access points to healthy, nutritious foods for SNAP recipients. USDA announced a $25M investment for SNAP healthy incentives. This will help SNAP retailers provide coupons, promotions, or special discounts on healthy items like fruits and vegetables for SNAP recipients.
These incentive programs are vital to increasing access to healthy foods that provide key health benefits and nutritional value. According to FNS, “A key barrier to healthy eating is lack of access or enough money to buy nutritious food” and it is backed by research that these programs help improve nutrition security in America.
What products can be incentivized?
Products that can be incentivized include…
- 100% fruit/vegetables juices
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Dark rye
- Whole grain products with whole grain listed as the first ingredient
- All varieties of low or non-fat milks
- Low or non-fat yogurt
- Low or non-fat buttermilk
- Low or non-fat kefir
- Low or non-fat cheese
Examples of how SNAP retailers can incentivize the purchase of the above healthy items include: double bucks/extra funds, discounts like 15% off, coupons for future use, or bonus food items.
How are they incentivized?
Any SNAP retailer can operate an incentive program! Programs like GusNIP and HFMI are federally funded programs in which retailers can apply for a grant. Additionally, there are local, state, and private programs that retailers can apply to if federal funding is not an option. If you do go the local, state, or private route, retailers have to get a waiver from FNS which you can learn more about on the FNS website.
Where can these programs be implemented?
These programs can be implemented in retail stores like grocery stores (small and large), bodegas, convenience stores, farmers markets, and online retailers.
Some examples from USDA of these federally funded SNAP incentive programs include:
- SNAP households in Menomonie, Wisconsin can earn a $5 or $10 voucher to purchase fruits and vegetables at their next visit when they shop with SNAP benefits at participating Menomonie Food Co-Op locations.
- Grocery retailer Meijer also offers discounts, ranging from $5-10 or 5-10% off, for fruits and vegetables purchased with SNAP benefits.