Finally, a piece of good news. Nonprofit Wholesome Wave, which aims to make fresh fruit and vegetables more accessible to everyone, just launched a credit card that rewards purchases of produce. On the heels of a proposal by Trump to replace food stamps with boxes that exclude fresh produce, this is an especially welcome program.
Here’s how the program, a result of a partnership with Naked, works: When cardholders buy produce at participating supermarkets, the card will automatically be refilled with up to $20 a week, for a maximum of $180 through the end of the year. The six participating markets include five Foodtown stores in the Bronx and Harlem, as well as a Stop & Shop in Queens.
Over the course of the next month, Wholesome Wave plans to enroll around 800 families, reaching up to 3,000 New Yorkers, and they plan to expand nationwide next year.
Where the nonprofit has historically focused on farmers markets, Wholesome Wave founder and CEO Michel Nischan is excited to expand its services to include supermarkets for those who don't have ready access to farmers markets. Currently, the nonprofit partners with 1,4000 farmers markets—and counting—that double the value of food stamps when SNAP recipients buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
According to the nonprofit's website, "only one in 10 kids eats enough fresh fruit and vegetables," and "more than 40 million Americans rely SNAP to eat." Nischan recognizes that cost is the “the single greatest obstacle to healthy eating among low-income families,” and he hopes to grow this new program to reach the 40.6 million Americans living in poverty today.