The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been an important food safety net for over 50 years. However, as the program has no nutrition standards, the one in six Oregonians experiencing food insecurity who count on the program for food, could face health problems due to unhealthy diets. SNAP incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks work to change that dynamic.
hero_image_alt_text===Fresh fruit and vegetables in a grocery store
thumbnail_alt_text===Fresh fruit and vegetables in a grocery store
SNAP incentives programs help families stretch their dollars and buy healthier options, which mean that children are taught healthy behaviors, establishing lifelong habits that will support their overall health and wellness. As we all know, eating more fruits and vegetables improves overall health, but this is particularly true for SNAP participants. SNAP incentive programs like Double Up Food Bucks show that it is possible to adjust the SNAP program to improve nutrition without increasing stigma on the beneficiaries or burden on retailers.
In Oregon we can do more than just provide low-income neighbors with food, we can provide them with healthy food! There are two bills working through the legislature right now, SB 727 and HB 2837, that would provide $3million in state funding as an investment for the Double Up Food Bucks. Although we have already had a great hearing in the Senate Human Services Committee, our work is far from over. The bills will be moved to the Ways and Means Committee, where they will likely sit until the end of session. Be on the look out for action alerts to tell you when you can email your elected officials about the importance of this topic to tell them that healthy food access is important to you, and it should be important to them too!