Access to healthy food is a fundamental building block for a productive life. While federal food assistance benefits are critical to enabling low-income families to buy food, the lack of access to healthy, fresh food contributes to poor health outcomes and increases the risk of diet-related chronic illness. Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona’s (CFBSA) Double Up SNAP program (DUSP) uses existing infrastructure — farmers’ markets and the EBT card — to improve access to and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income family; grow the local economy by supporting purchases from local farmers, and to shift public policy so that future federal nutrition assistance programs can simultaneously address health, hunger, and nutrition and support a more sustainable food system. The primary objectives of the DUSP evaluation are to: determine the effectiveness of monetary incentives to promote healthier food choices (as evidenced by food purchasing behavior) for SNAP customers; determine the impact of the DUSP project on the participating markets, vendors and the local food economy; determine the implications of the evaluation findings in relation to policy change and best practices for replicating the model.
Halimatou Alaofè, Kara Jones, Abigail Plano