The PlanSector

Food Access, Security and Health

Goal 3

More people will be able to purchase healthy foods using public food assistance incentive programs.

Image courtesy of Joseph Krupczynski

Incentives that give consumers more buying power to purchase fresh and healthy food through food assistance programs have proven to be very effective in Massachusetts.1 There is a need and opportunity to support and expand these efforts in order to: 1) deliver SNAP and other benefits more strategically to help increase purchases of fresh healthy food (much of it locally produced); 2) demonstrate the long term viability of such incentives programs; and 3) offer a model that can be replicated widely and sustained into the future.

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Recommendations

  1. 3.1 Support statewide funding, implementation and evaluation of consumer incentives that support purchasing more fruits and vegetables.
    1. Actions:
    2. 3.1.1 Leverage and maximize the FINI grant award to increase use of SNAP and complementary benefit programs at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and for community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Identify, support, and implement methods to sustain FINI-related healthy food purchasing incentive initiatives.
    3. 3.1.2 Fund the FINI-HIP Trust Fund. The FINI-HIP Trust will enable DTA to engage statewide community partners and private funders to accept financial commitments to support the HIP implementation.
    4. 3.1.3 Identify method for expanding healthy food purchasing incentives to all SNAP retailers statewide including grocery stores, corner stores and bodegas.
    5. 3.1.4 Encourage Massachusetts’ congressional delegation to continue and increase funding for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).
    6. 3.1.5 Conduct outreach to promote the success and benefit of the FMNP.
    7. 3.1.6 Provide capacity and technical assistance to farmers markets to accept WIC and senior FMNP.