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Food stamp recipients who buy fruits and veggies can get up to $40 more a month to buy extra avocados, squash, and other fresh produce, thanks to a new program to help Latino and other low-income families eat healthier, Kaiser Health News reports.
This “Más Fresco” (“More Fresh”) program started in 2017. It’s for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties in California.
Most of the program’s 1,153 participants are Latino.
“For every dollar worth of food stamps enrollees spend on fresh produce in a given month, they receive a one-to-one match, up to $10, $20 or $40, which they can spend only on more fruits and vegetables,” according to Kaiser Health News.
Latinos Need Healthy Food Options
Latino families lack access to affordable healthy food options, according to a Salud America! research review.
This makes it harder for them to maintain a healthy weight.
“For SNAP participants, there’s a real cost barrier to buying fruits and vegetables. They say they’re just too expensive,” Joe Prickitt, director of Más Fresco. The program is led by the University of California, San Diego, and funded by USDA.
Más Fresco Is Helping Latinos
The Más Fresco program helps improve healthy food access for Latinos.
Program participants can shop at Northgate González Market, a California-based Latino grocery chain. Northgate González offers many healthy options and promotes them with bilingual labels.
Studies show that people will spend extra food stamp money on fresh foods.
That’s the case for Rebeca Gonzalez of Garden Grove, Calif.
Gonzalez gets $500 a month in food stamps. But she couldn’t afford many healthy options like artichokes.
With Más Fresco, Gonzalez gets an extra $40 a month for more fruits and vegetables, according to Kaiser Health News.
“The good thing is my family likes to try the new vegetables,” Gonzalez said. “Now I can buy them because I have the extra money.”
Prickitt told Kaiser Health News he hopes participants “continue buying produce” even after the program ends.
What can we do to help our children to eat healthy?