Fruit and Vegetable Incentives in SNAP Program
United Fresh believes that providing incentives for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) families to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables will boost produce consumption and improve nutrition. During the 2014 Farm Bill, United Fresh worked with Congress to secure $100 million in funding over 5 years for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants. USDA will award the first FINI grants totaling $31.5M in April 2015.
FINI projects will provide incentives at the point of purchase to promote purchase of more fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants and test efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems.
United Fresh encourages grocery retailers who operate stores in underserved communities to partner with their state SNAP agency and non-profit community organizations to apply for a FINI grant. Currently, 85 percent of all SNAP benefits are redeemed in grocery stores. Scaling up produce incentives in grocery stores in underserved communities will have the greatest reach and ensure SNAP families access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables year round. Evidence gained by implementing produce incentives at grocery will shape SNAP policy in the future.