Partnership for a Healthier America Helps Denver Families Participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Access Produce at Wholesale Prices
Partnership for a Healthier America and The Co-op at 1st partner to bring affordable SNAP-eligible meal kits with fresh produce to local families.
July 1, 2021
DENVER, CO - West Denver, Colorado families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are now able to purchase fresh produce at wholesale prices thanks to a partnership between Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and The Co-op at 1st.
According to research recently published by the US Department of Agriculture, nearly nine out of ten SNAP recipients routinely face barriers to a healthy diet with affordability being the most frequently cited challenge by 61% of participants.
“This program has been vital to us,” said program participant Peggy Suebaca. “We are always struggling to find healthy options, especially being low income. Most food banks give out canned and boxed items, many of which keep low income people unhealthy. Your food program has allowed us to cook healthy meals while also teaching our kids how to cook healthy.”
My Food Box, distributed by The Co-op at 1st and modeled after PHA’s COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund which launched in Denver in May 2020, includes fresh produce from local farmers and growers as well as pre-made meals from local chefs at wholesale prices. The program allows participants to use their SNAP benefits and Double Bucks to pay for the subscription.
“In the wake of COVID, it is no longer acceptable to live in a two-tiered food system where those of means eat foods that promote good health while people with less eat foods likely to cause diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “By distributing good food at wholesale prices that can be purchased with SNAP and Double Bucks, we are changing the food landscape to one that leans toward health equity instead of one that creates health disparities.”
“Every week, The Co-op at 1st sells approximately 40 boxes of fresh, high-quality produce for as low as $20 dollars per box. And 1 out of every 3 customers uses SNAP or Double Up Food Bucks for this purchase,” said Kristina Welch, Founder and Executive Director, The Co-op at 1st. “Thanks to lessons learned from PHA’s COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund, My Food Box is a sustainable program that’s empowering our community with good food and cultivating health equity at the same time.”
The Partnership for a Healthier America started the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund to bring fresh produce to communities hit hardest by the pandemic. The program has had an incredible impact in high need communities since deployment in April 2020 and has highlighted a demand for affordable and accessible produce in low-income communities.
61% of participants in the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund said the main barrier to eating more fruits and vegetables was cost, and 50% reported a willingness to pay the wholesale price of the COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund PHA Fresh Box, suggesting significant unmet marketplace demand. The Co-op at 1st is meeting this consumer demand and creating access to affordable produce through My Food Box.
ABOUT PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), founded in partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign in 2010, is the premier national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. PHA seeks partnerships that have the greatest potential to reduce health disparities. We do this using evidence-based approaches that drive systemic access to better food. In a decade of work, we have partnered with more than 300 corporations, convenience store chains, and distributors, hospitals, early childhood education centers, and SNAP-Ed implementing agencies, among others, in pursuit of our vision that all children grow up healthy and free from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
ABOUT THE CO-OP AT 1ST
The Co-op at 1st is committed to providing quality foods, products and services while supporting the health and wellness of our members and our community through education, information, service, sustainability and collaboration. We also work hand-in-hand with a variety of organizations and businesses who align with our mission and values. For more information about The Co-op at 1st, please visit www.thecoopat1st.com.
Partnership for a Healthier America: Megan Orciari (email@example.com)
The Co-op at 1st: Kristina Welch (firstname.lastname@example.org)