Communications and Development Coordinator
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For Immediate Release
Report Released: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program a Success
The final report for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program, compiled by Wholesome Wave based off of information collected by the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has been released by Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS).
In September 2015, GMFTS began the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program, a pilot program that offered Orleans and Essex county residents participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, 3SquaresVT, to purchase an additional $75 of fresh fruits and vegetables through the end of February from five participating grocery stores.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program was funded by a USDA FINI grant, applied for in collaboration with the Food Retailers Task Force, and a matching grant from the Farm to Plate Network. A letter in support of awarding the grant was submitted on behalf of GMFTS by Vermont’s congressional delegation – Rep. Welch, Sen. Leahy, and Sen. Sanders. To implement the program, GMFTS partnered with University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Vermont Department of Health and Department of Children and Families, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Wholesome Wave.
Some quick highlights include:
- 94 percent of the coupons were redeemed totaling $29,486 in purchased fresh fruits and vegetables over the course of the program
- 60 percent of post-program survey respondents reported that the coupon program changed the type of foods they choose.
- 97 percent of participants were satisfied with the amount of produce they were able to purchase a part of the program.
Some quotes from participants:
- “I’ve been waiting for a program like this; its not the same at the food shelf.”
- “I was able to eat have vegetables through most of my pregnancy.”
- “The program really minimized the strain on my food budget.”
Read the full report here: 2015-2016 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coupon Program Final Report