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Fruit & Vegetable Incentives Program receives temporary funding to increase participant benefits

Washington state’s Fruit & Vegetable Incentives Program (FVIP) receives temporary funding to increase participant benefits

OLYMPIA – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will receive additional support towards fruit and vegetable purchases, thanks to the passage of SHB 1784. The bill provides an additional $2 million for the Washington State Department of Health (DOH)’s Fruit and Vegetable Incentives Program.

Funding will increase the SNAP Produce Match benefit from $5 for every $10 spent on eligible fruits and vegetables at grocery stores and online, to $10 for every $10 spent on eligible fruits and vegetables through June 30. This means that when SNAP/EBT participants purchase at least $10 of fruits and vegetables during a single transaction with their SNAP/EBT card, they will receive a $10 SNAP Produce Match promotion that can be used toward future eligible purchases.

SNAP, known as the Basic Food program in Washington state, provides monthly, federally funded benefits to eligible people with low income for purchasing groceries. SNAP Produce Match encourages participants to eat healthy by providing additional funds when they purchase eligible fruits and vegetables.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the federal government temporarily increased its financial support of Basic Food by providing emergency supplemental benefits. However, this increased federal support ended in February, leaving many facing what became known as the “hunger cliff."

“Making sure people in Washington have access to healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, is key to preventing diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and is a great way to support our communities and community health,” said Michele Roberts, Assistant Secretary for Prevention and Community Health, Department of Health. “These additional funds will help people with limited incomes, including children, people with disabilities, and older people, eat well in a time when food costs continue to be high.”

SNAP Produce Match is available at 215 grocery stores across 30 counties in Washington, as well as with participating online retailers. Learn more about SNAP and see if you are eligible. SNAP Produce Match is supported in part by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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