Supermarketguru and the Lempert Report have talked a lot about local, seasonal produce and the various benefits of choosing to eat this way
Supermarketguru and the Lempert Report have talked a lot about local, seasonal produce and the various benefits of choosing to eat this way; which range from better nutrition to supporting the local economy and environment. Understandably, this is easier said than done, especially in under-served communities and areas of lower income; communities that generally don’t have access to farmers markets, produce vendors, nor a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Wholesome Wave Foundation, a privately funded incentive based, non-profit, food assistance program, aims to impact communities on a holistic level. Wholesome Wave supports local and sustainable farming methods- which increase environmental well being, provide affordable local fresh fruits and vegetables to families- which decreases health care costs, as well as provide true economic stimulus- dollars spent locally, re-multiply within the community. Founded by Michel Nischan, an award-winning Chef committed to healthier, organic, and sustainable food, Gus Schumacher, former Under Secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services at the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Michael Batterberry, founder and editor-in-chief of Food Arts magazine, Wholesome Wave has made a measurable impact in various under-served communities.
Wholesome Wave’s core program is the Double Value Coupon Program, which doubles the value of federal food assistance when used at participating farmers markets. The aim is to improve nutritional choices and the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP), and the Senior FMNP. The government is expected to spend $78 billion in 2011 on SNAP benefits. Food stamp redemption is at an all time high, helping to feed one in eight Americans and one in four children, according to the USDA and the Census Bureau.
In a survey conducted in Boston by Gina Kim, Bill Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellow, 87% of SNAP participants, reported consuming more fresh produce because of the Double Value Coupon Program, Bounty Bucks. 84% said Bounty Bucks was a Very Important /Important factor in facilitating their purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables. Clearly Wholesome Wave is a catalyst for improving communities; the inevitable and wonderful outcome means that under-served communities will have played a significant role in making a local, sustainable food system a reality.
To find out more about the Wholesome Wave Foundation, how you can help and participating locations, visithttp://wholesomewave.org/.