In 2016, WWG decided our Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP) needed a makeover. Our staff worked closely with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) to meet with SNAP recipients and hear what they had to say about the program. What did they call the program? How did they describe it? Had they even heard of Wholesome Wave Georgia? GCN hosted five focus groups across the state to find out.
Across the five groups, common themes emerged: the desires to save money, get more food for less, and purchase fresh food. The primary factor influencing participant's purchasing decisions is cost; other factors include dietary restriction, convenience, and quality. While the focus group participants can describe what healthy foods are, their current food consumption consists of unhealthy items because they lack accessible and affordable healthy choices. When asked what they would prefer to eat if price and accessibility were not barriers, participants identified healthier, home cooked foods.
From group to group, one thing stood out: no one knew the name of our Double Value Coupon Program. Only 15% of focus group participants had even heard about the program, but no one knew what to call it.
Enter, Georgia Fresh For Less. WWG believes Georgia Fresh For Less represents the core message of the program and is simple to understand. Through Georgia Fresh For Less, we match federal nutrition assistance (FNA, i.e. SNAP/food stamps, WIC) dollars--dollar for dollar--at participating farmers markets and farms across the state to make healthy, nourishing choices affordable for low-income families.
When FNA shoppers spend $10, they get $20 worth of fresh, local food. By matching each FNA dollar spent at farmers markets, we leverage existing government nutrition programs to promote healthy and affordable eating habits.