This month’s posts will highlight incentive programs meant to encourage individuals to shop at local farmers’ markets and increase their intake of nutritious foods.
Wholesome Wave Georgia’s flagship program, the Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP), is a kind of incentive program that encourages recipients of government benefits like SNAP and WIC to use those benefits at their local farmers’ markets. The DVCP makes healthy, local food more affordable to low income individuals, supports local farmers, and keeps federal benefit funds in the community. Through Wholesome Wave National, variations of the DVCP are also offered in over 20 other states around the country. Wholesome Wave Georgia’s DVCP is unique in that it doubles SNAP dollars for all SNAP-eligible items, including produce, meat, dairy, and jams.
Wholesome Wave Georgia also piloted the Double Up incentive program at a handful of its partner markets this season. Similar to the DVCP, Double Up provides an incentive in the form of doubled SNAP dollars, but the doubled dollars received can only be used for local fruits and veggies.
As funding opportunities for incentive programs increase, like the availability of USDA funding through their Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program, we can continuously increase access to healthy, fresh food for all.