Get the Good Stuff: New York City program incentivizes healthy purchases with SNAP funds

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A new food program is offering a dollar-for-dollar match of eligible fruits, vegetables and beans purchased by New Yorkers in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously food stamps) at participating supermarkets.

The New York City Health Department announced Thursday the launch of the new program "Get the Good Stuff," which for every $1 spent in SNAP benefits at participating supermarkets on eligible fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits, vegetables and beans, shoppers get $1 added to a program loyalty card to spend on eligible foods on their next purchase.

Shoppers can earn up to $50 in incentives on their Get the Good Stuff card per day.

Nearly one in five New Yorkers, approximately 1.5 million people, rely on SNAP, and in 2017, New York City adults with low incomes consumed one serving less of fruits and vegetables each day compared to high-income adults (two servings versus three).

"Get the Good Stuff can double the produce budget of New York's SNAP participants," Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said. "This program makes it easier for New Yorkers to put nutritious food on the table. And by using federal dollars and digitizing rewards on eligible SNAP purchases, New York City has created a model for the nation."

Officials said Get the Good Stuff is one of the only fully electronic nutrition incentive programs in the nation to include frozen, canned and dried fruits, vegetables and beans. Over 1,850 people have enrolled in the program at three stores since June 2019, and more than $45,000 in incentives have been distributed.

"Not only will this program make it easier for New Yorkers to purchase great fruits and vegetables, but they can buy them in a way that works best for them - fresh, frozen or even canned," said Kate MacKenzie, Director of the Mayor's Office of Food Policy. "It is important that program participants have these choices to make it easier to feed their families."

Shoppers with SNAP benefits can sign up for the program at participating stores' customer service desk. Once enrolled, shoppers earn incentives on SNAP purchases of eligible fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits, vegetables and beans without added sugar, salt or fat. Incentives are loaded on a program loyalty card and can be spent on customers' next purchase of eligible foods.

Eligible foods include:
-Fresh fruits and vegetables
-Frozen fruits and vegetables without added sugar, salt or fat
-Canned fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils without added sugar, salt or fat
-Dried beans and lentils

The program is currently available at the following stores:
-Fine Fare Supermarket, 8945 163rd Street, Jamaica, Queens
-Fine Fare Supermarket, 459 East 149th Street, Bronx
-Fine Fare Supermarket, 3550 White Plains Road, Bronx
-Three Guys, 6502 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn (Launching early 2020)

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