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Louisiana Tests New Approach to Promote Healthy Eating by SNAP Recipients

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has been awarded $9.5 million to pilot a novel initiative to encourage the purchase of fruits and vegetables among individuals enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

According to state officials, Louisiana, Colorado, and Washington are also modernizing their SNAP systems to enable the direct loading of incentive funds onto participants' Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

The Louisiana project will focus on underserved communities facing significant food insecurity, including marginalized, tribal, rural, low-income, persistent poverty, and low-access areas, where residents are disproportionately affected by diet-related ailments.

"In Louisiana, we constantly seek new avenues to bolster families and support those in need. Enhancing access to fruits and vegetables through SNAP's healthy incentives is another step in that endeavor," stated Terri Ricks, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

Under the program, SNAP beneficiaries will receive a reimbursement of $0.30 for every dollar spent on fruits and vegetables using their SNAP benefits. The refund will be added back to their EBT cards and can be redeemed during a subsequent purchase of any SNAP-eligible food, up to a maximum of $25 per month.

Officials anticipate the launch of the program in Louisiana to take place in August 2024.

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