BENEFITING: Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice for all New Yorkers. The Health Bucks program provides low-income residents with Health Bucks coupons, good for $2 of fresh fruits and vegetables at all farmers markets in New York City: a win-win for the health of low-income New Yorkers and for the livelihoods of our region's farmers.
Why support Health Bucks?
First implemented in 2005, and now the nation's largest municipal farmers market incentive program, Health Bucks has been recognized nationally for its success and has been identified as a practice-tested intervention for addressing overweight and obesity in low-income communities.
With almost 1 in 4 NYC residents enrolled in SNAP and an average of 1.5 million identified as food insecure, additional funding is needed to ensure that more low-income New Yorkers receive Health Bucks.
The Health Bucks program provides over 190 community-based organizations with Health Bucks coupons. However, due to limited resources, each approved applicant can only receive a limited number of coupons.
How are Health Bucks distributed?
SNAP* Incentive: For every $5 spent in SNAP benefits at the market, beneficiaries receive a $2 Health Bucks coupon, representing a 40% increase in purchasing power. Almost all (90%) NYC farmers markets accept SNAP benefits.
Community-Based Organizations: Organizations serving low-income New Yorkers distribute Health Bucks coupons to support participation in health and nutrition programming and to encourage more residents to shop at farmers markets.
*SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps