Health Equity Considerations
Health Bucks, $2 coupons, offer a financial incentive for residents of low-income neighborhoods to purchase fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. The program makes a concerted effort to get Health Bucks into the hands of low-income people by distributing them through community-based organizations and at farmers’ markets operating in underserved areas. Health Bucks customers often receive USDA nutrition benefits, such as SNAP, Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons for low-income women, infants and children (WIC FMNP) and the FMN program for low-income seniors. All farmers’ markets that accept SNAP through EBT give one Health Buck coupon to each customer for every $5 spent using SNAP.
The Health Bucks program operates in each borough of New York City. Similar programs using different names operate in numerous urban (Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore) and suburban (Carrboro, NC) areas of the country.