Cartwright Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Make Healthy Food More Accessible
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the bipartisan SNAP Healthy Incentives Act, a bill that would create incentives for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase fruits and vegetables.
From 2011 to 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food and Nutrition Service implemented a pilot program in Hampden County, Massachusetts that evaluated financial incentives for SNAP recipients to purchase healthy food. The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) refunded SNAP recipients 30 cents for every dollar they spent on fruits and vegetables. This generated a 25 percent increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables among the test group.
The SNAP Healthy Incentives Act would expand HIP to all SNAP recipients.
“Unfortunately, the increase in healthy food prices have put fruits and vegetables out of reach for many SNAP recipients. This bipartisan bill revamps SNAP by targeting the benefits towards healthy foods,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Increased fruit and vegetable intake can help reduce rates of heart disease and prevent several cancers. Not only does this alleviate health care costs, but it can save lives.”