California has introduced a California Fruit and Vegetable EBT pilot program to increase the affordability and accessibility of fresh produce for individuals receiving aid.
Receivers of CalFresh will be compensated for buying locally produced food under the program.
California’s Department of Social Services explained on its official website that the pilot project intends to create and improve a scalable model that USDA Food and Nutrition Service authorized retailers can quickly adopt different types, sizes, and locations in the future to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in California.
California Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot Program: What It Means
CAP Radio reported that the statewide implementation of the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT pilot program will replace the paper coupons that certain counties and towns previously provided to families making purchases of California-grown fruit. Nevertheless, the statewide scheme will only be run digitally, with benefits being added directly to the EBT accounts of users.
Eli Zigas, director of food and agriculture policy at the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), described how the paper-based redemption scheme was replaced with an electronic one.
Zigas said that SPUR has previously worked on collaborating with supermarkets to provide incentives to EBT beneficiaries if they bought locally farmed vegetables. Often, the fruit was completely covered by the coupons, which could be used to your subsequent purchase.
More than 90 retail outlets in the state already participate in the California Fruit and Vegetable EBT pilot program, which is divided between farmers markets and grocery shops.