Pricing incentives may reduce disparities in obesity among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants by increasing fruit and vegetable purchases. However, few studies have evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of those incentives in supermarkets, as opposed to farmers markets. In 2015 and 2016, as part of a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program, a dollar-matching program in Michigan provided SNAP participants with a subsidy on fresh produce purchases. Using data on millions of individual transactions from thirty-two stores, we found that SNAP participants’ spending on fresh produce was significantly higher at stores that implemented the subsidy than at control stores during both intervention periods (7.4 percent and 2.2 percent higher in 2015 and 2016, respectively). Our results highlight the effectiveness and feasibility of dollar-matching programs for fruit and vegetable purchases by SNAP participants who shop at supermarkets, and they support the USDA’s expansion of existing programs to that setting in additional states.
Published: November 2019
ID #: 74130
Journal: Health Affairs
Authors: Rummo PE, Noriega D, Parret A, Harding M, Hesterman O, Elbel BE
Evaluating the Impact of Subsidizing Purchases of Fresh Produce in Supermarkets for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program RecipientsThe 2014 Farm Bill Authorization included $100 million to promote the purchase of fresh produce among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants through matching financial incentives for every SNAP dollar spent on fresh produce. As part of this, the Fair Food Network (FFN) received over $5 million to expand its SNAP match program, Double Up More