Denver program gets $2.5M to induce people on food stamps to eat healthier

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(The Center Square) – A Denver food-assistance program will get $2.5 million to encourage people on food stamps to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Live Well Colorado received the grant for the Double Up Food Bucks program, which provide a $1 for $1 match for up to $20 a day of fruit and vegetable purchases. The match is made by the grocery.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture stated earlier this week it has spent $52 million to incentivize people on food stamps to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Double Up Food Bucks is a program offered to Coloradans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP benefits and formerly referred to as food stamps. The program lets recipients use EBT cards at local participating farmers markets and grocers. The program offers up to $20 a day to incentivize those wanting to purchase fresh produce grown in Colorado.

The USDA’s recommended servings of fruits and vegetables total $2-2.50 per day or $70 a month, while grocery bills over the last year have increased almost 11%.

Currently, 33% of Coloradans are experiencing food insecurity, according to the USDA. The Colorado Department of Human Services redirected $14 million in state funding in the last year, according to the Colorado Blueprint To End Hunger.

Colorado also provides $4.05 million in emergency funds to 245 food pantries throughout the state.

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