1 in 10 families in the United States benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP), a program that helps millions of individuals and families with low-incomes buy groceries.
As part of SNAP, the government established the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) program and set aside $100 million in funds for SNAP “incentive” programs, which have become a powerful way to incentivize participants to buy nutritious produce. These incentives act as an economic engine for the state and local economy, in addition to promoting healthy communities. Farmers, grocery store owners, farmer’s market vendors and small retail stores all reap the benefit from higher sales of produce.
To help spur economic growth in our community, we must support SNAP incentives and procure the necessary funds to establish a strong incentives program. An established SNAP incentives program can be a catalyst for economic growth while also dealing with hunger issues across communities:
• SNAP incentives can increase spending on fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, which generates economic growth. Every $5 spent using SNAP generates as much as $9 in economic activity.
• SNAP incentives generate job growth. Every $1 billion of SNAP benefits also creates 8,900 - 17,900 full-time jobs.
• SNAP incentives have had a direct impact on revenues for local merchants, especially farmers. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, each $1 billion of retail generated by SNAP creates $340 million in farm production, $110 million in farm value added, and 3,300 farm jobs.
• SNAP incentives can spur increased spending on fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, which means many store owners benefit from increased sales.
• SNAP incentives directed at low-income populations are associated with expanded physical access to healthy foods.
• SNAP incentives benefit some of the most vulnerable populations in our country, helping to reduce food insecurity. Nearly two-thirds of all SNAP participants are children, elderly, and people with disabilities. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of a strong SNAP incentives program.