A diet high in fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. But cost can be a barrier to consumption, especially for those with low incomes.
Marion County’s Fresh Bucks program allows SNAP recipients to double their benefits at participating farmers markets.
The goal is to make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible for SNAP recipients, said Marion County Public Health Department nutrition incentive program specialist Elise Gahan.
“We hope that by offering a nutrition incentive that we are lowering the cost and therefore incentivizing purchasing and consuming the recommended intake of that five cups a day,” Gahan said.
The Fresh Bucks program matches up to $20 on fruits and vegetables at registered farmers markets and farm stands. Participants will receive a reloadable Fresh Bucks card at the farmers market information stand. Fresh Bucks can be received every week and participants do not have to go to the same farmers market every week.
Gahan said the program also helps Indiana farmers and the local economy, “which is just a better win for our local system than maybe going into a bigger box store where food is coming from all over.”
Find a list of participating markets at freshbucksindy.org.