Veggie Discount May Stimulate Low Income Families To Eat Healthy

When processed, packaged convenience foods low in health and nutrition and high in fat, sugar and salt are cheaper than fresh produce, the problem becomes evident. If items such as pizza, fries, burgers and chips are going to be cheaper than fruits and vegetables, then you have a clear reason why low income groups appear to be more obese than others – because they quite simply find the unhealthy food cheaper.

healthy eatingThis problem is now sought to be combated by a test project by the U.S. Agriculture Department which will be offering low-income families in western Massachusetts a 30 percent discount on fresh fruits and vegetables.

This is an attempt to bring healthy eating within the economic reach of lower income groups and families who eat unhealthy simply because it is cheaper and quicker.

Under the project, 7,500 households who currently receive food stamp benefits in Hampden County, Mass., will get 30 cents reimbursed to their debit cards for every dollar they spend on fruits and vegetables.

This $20 million pilot program is an attempt to try and examine whether the government is able to impact and guide food choices that people make.  If found to be successful, this program can also be implemented at the national level.