How We Work | Doubling SNAP | Wholesome Wave

How We Work | Doubling SNAP


Who We Serve

Tens of millions of Americans struggle to put healthy food on the table. But poverty should never be an obstacle to eating fresh produce. That’s why our flagship program doubles the value of SNAP (or Food Stamps) when spent on fruits and vegetables. Today, over 500,000 low-income Americans are eating healthier because of our programs…and we’re working to scale our work to reach millions nationwide. Looking for a program in your area? Search our interactive map.

Woman Smiles while Holding Produce at Main Co-op

 

How it works

It’s simple: We double the value of SNAP (Food Stamps) when spent on fruits and vegetables. In 2016, our work touched over 500,000 low-income consumers and unlocked $10.6 million in purchases of fruits and vegetables.

STEP 1

SNAP shopper finds a participating farmers market or grocery store.

STEP 2

They shop with SNAP as usual - but get their purchasing power doubled, in the form of tokens or coupons called “nutrition incentives.”

STEP 3

They use the incentives to buy fruits and vegetables.


Impact

Millions of American families simply cannot afford produce, relying instead on cheap foods like instant rice and plain noodles. Doubling SNAP (Food Stamps) levels the playing field so everyone, regardless of income level, can afford fruits and vegetables. Across the country, Americans can afford fresh, healthy food thanks to our 2-for-1 produce sale. Meanwhile benefits ripple out across the community as public health improves and farmers and grocery stores boost their bottom lines.

AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO PRODUCE
IMPROVED PUBLIC HEALTH
THRIVING LOCAL ECONOMY
HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT

Expert Advisors & Resources

Do you operate a farmers market, grocery store, corner store, CSA or farm stand? Do you want to accept SNAP (Food Stamps) and double the value? We’re here to help, with everything from the nuts and bolts of building your program to outreach and marketing support. Our team of expert advisors has the capacity, skills, and energy in house to make your program a success.

Leah Hancock

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

Steven Farley

SENIOR PROGRAMS ASSOCIATE
FAQS
What foods can people buy through this program?

SNAP (Food Stamps) can only be spent on food, or on plants or seeds that grow food for your household to eat. (It cannot be used to purchase hot foods, fast food, household supplies, alcohol or tobacco, or anything else.) We double the value of SNAP with matching funds that can only be spent on fruits and vegetables. So if someone spends $10 in SNAP (perhaps on pasta or eggs or peanut butter), we provide $10 in coupons that can only be spent on produce.

What was the first state you were in?

Wholesome Wave’s SNAP Doubling Program launched in 2008 in five states: at the City Heights Farmers Market in San Diego in partnership with the International Rescue Committee; in nine markets in the greater Boston area with The Food Project; 55 markets in New York with the New York Federation of Farmers Markets; and the Holyoke Farmers Market in Massachusetts with the non-profit Nuestras Raices. These early programs used the new battery-charged mobile EBT machines at a central market booth. SNAP recipients swiped their cards at the market booth and were given tokens for double what they paid to spend anywhere at the market. At the end of the day, farmers turned in their tokens and received checks from the market manager for the value of the purchases.  

Isn’t nutrition education important?

While everyone could learn more about nutrition, for tens of millions of Americans the true barrier to healthful eating is the cost. If people can’t afford produce, they can’t buy it. When they can, they do. 

I can afford produce. How does this issue affect me?

While you may not struggle to afford healthy food, many families do and this has negative impacts on whole communities - diet-related illness costs the country over $1.4 trillion a year. 

Take Action

Donate or join today to help Wholesome Wave bring fresh, local fruit and vegetables to more communities around the United States. 

 

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