Mississippi legislators returned to the state capitol on January 4 for the 2022 legislative session.
A main focus for the American Heart Association is to urge state lawmakers to Grow the Good by funding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) incentives programs. This would provide matching dollars to participating retailers and farmers markets for SNAP recipients to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables. We're specifically asking for $700,000 each year.
Investing in SNAP incentives funding would grow:
- The economy, especially local businesses. For every $5 spent on SNAP incentives, it generates $9 in economic activity. Over 3,000 small businesses in Mississippi depend on SNAP and SNAP incentives to survive.
- Local agriculture, helping farmers markets thrive. Farmers markets in underserved areas are more likely to thrive when they accept SNAP, incentives and vouches for food at the market.
- Healthy Mississippians, improving public health. SNAP is linked with reduced health care costs. On average, low-income adults participating in SNAP incur nearly 25% less in medical care costs. The difference is even greater for those with hypertension and coronary heart disease.
To raise awareness in support of the issue, we'll host our Grow the Good Virtually: Mississippi Digital Day of Action on Thursday, January 27. Watch your inbox that day for easy ways to email, tweet and call your lawmakers and ask for their support. If you're not a You're the Cure advocate, you can sign up at www.yourethecure.org/join. We also invite you to register for our Virtual Fireside Chat that day from 12-1 PM CT, as we discuss about the importance of SNAP incentives funding in Mississippi, how your outreach to lawmakers went, and next steps for this policy effort.