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Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will continue to have an opportunity to double their purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Minnesota Department of Human Services extended the SNAP+ pilot, which launched in June, through the end of the year.
The program allows SNAP participants who purchase $5 or more in fresh fruits and vegetables with their Electronic Benefit Transfer card to receive a $5 coupon toward their next purchase of fresh produce at one of three participating stores. Many of the 30,000 coupons are still available.
“I’m confident that once SNAP participants realize how much more in healthy food they can purchase, they will take greater advantage of this opportunity,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “With more fresh produce in their refrigerators and on their dinner tables, they will be healthier and save money in the long run. And that’s good for all of us.”
Participating stores are located in both rural and metropolitan areas with high poverty rates, health disparities and demonstrated need for healthier eating. They are:
SNAP+, supported by the Minnesota Grocers Association and Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown program, is part of the department’s and its partners in the Nutritious Food Coalition’s ongoing outreach efforts to encourage SNAP-eligible Minnesotans to enroll in the program and purchase healthy food for their households.
“We are excited about the opportunity for families to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables for the holiday season with this extension,” said Jamie Pfuhl, president, Minnesota Grocers Association.
Currently, more than 500,000 Minnesotans participate in SNAP. According to the department’s public dashboard, 69 percent of all program-eligible Minnesotans and 46 percent of all program-eligible seniors participate in SNAP.
The $150,000 initiative is funded through a federal bonus for increasing SNAP access for eligible residents. The remaining state share of the United States Department of Agriculture’s bonus is going toward three additional initiatives to help increase access to healthy foods for low-income families.
More information about SNAP is available on the department’s website.