A fresh food breeze for healthier food stamps.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 30, 2015 – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced earlier this month a $422,500 USDA grant for Oakland’s Mandela MarketPlace, to support their healthy fresh food initiative in West Oakland, supported by Credibles’ apps and service for “edible credits”.
USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program awarded the grant for residents enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and living in low food-access neighborhoods to participate in a healthy food incentive program. With extra credits, the participants are rewarded for getting more fresh fruits and vegetables in their grocery baskets at local community markets and corner stores.
“A ‘trifecta’ of Hospital, Community-Based Organization, and Business makes healthier foods more accessible and affordable for SNAP consumers and their families,” said Dana Harvey, Executive Director of Mandela MarketPlace. “Credibles’ innovation in technology and finance allows retailers to make purchasing healthier foods easier, this, married with the knowledge of health professionals can only have a good outcome.”
Oakland’s Highland Hospital partners in the project by identifying patients whose health condition would be significantly improved by healthy fresh food.
Aligned with their mission of supporting of local businesses and creating a stronger relationship between the business and customers, Credibles will supply participants with a SNAP-match credit account used when purchasing healthy foods at selected local markets. Using the Credibles App, retailers can easily process transactions and encourage participants.
“Credibles is excited to work with Mandela MarketPlace and local food businesses in the West Oakland community to issue ‘edible credits’ for healthy, fresh food,” said CEO Arno Hesse. “Smartphone apps, now used by people of every economic and health status, are an easy and innovative way to offer incentives for healthy lifestyles.”
Mandela MarketPlace will begin the program in September 2015.
From the USDA announcement:
Mandela Marketplace, Inc., Oakland, CA
$422,500 | Increase the purchase of locally-sourced fruits and vegetables by SNAP consumers through provision of Credibles, a technologically-elegant, online direct-to consumer incentive system for use at a network of SNAP authorized retailers, including healthy retail corner store conversions and market booths operating as part of Mandela Health and Wealth Network locally-owned food system. The match is 35 cents on the dollar.