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Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington to Evaluate Farmers’ Market Incentive of Federal Grant to Promote Healthier Eating

The Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington School of Public Health will help evaluate a program designed to boost consumption of fruits and vegetables among people with low income.

Donna Johnson
[Photo: Dr. Donna Johnson]

The Washington State Department of Health and 60 partners were awarded a $5.86 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) clients. The program provides cash incentives at the point of purchase in farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

The UW School of Public Health will receive about $500,000 of the grant money over four years to evaluate the farmers’ market incentives.

“This will build on work that we have done over the past two summers with the ‘Fresh Bucks’ farmers’ market incentive program for SNAP participants in Seattle,” said Dr. Donna Johnson, professor of Health Services and associate director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition.

“Now we get to study the impact of these programs state-wide. This is a promising approach to encouraging low-income families to choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables that they might not otherwise be able to afford.  It’s also a good thing for farmers and local economies.”