Financial incentives encourage SNAP participants to purchase more fruits and vegetables, which helps to boost local economies while also providing a safety net for parents and others who struggle to afford healthy food. But without support from local and state legislators, SNAP incentive programs won’t have the funds they need to make our communities stronger.
Whether you choose to write an op-ed for your local newspaper, strike up a conversation at the grocery store with a neighbor, or speak at your child’s school, there are certain key messages you’ll want to include in your conversation to make your point most compelling. Make sure to include a variety of perspectives in your messages to fit with a specific audience such as teachers, parents and reporters. Taking the time to tailor your message to share a perspective that is important to that audience will help you create a broad coalition of support for developing and implementing SNAP incentive programs in your community.
Before you start building your campaign, it’s important to map out your main objectives—what you want to achieve—and align them with the Key Messages below.
Once you determine the specific policies and improvements that make sense for your community, make sure to include potential solutions in all your communication efforts, so that key stakeholders have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish and how they can help.
Overarching Messages in Support of Developing or Improving SNAP Incentives
This is the messaging thread that should connect all communications, no matter the policy objective.
SNAP protects children and families who are struggling to afford food by reducing food insecurity. Nearly two-thirds of all SNAP participants are children, elderly, and people with disabilities. By adding financial incentives to encourage SNAP participants to purchase more fruits and vegetables, families will have greater access to healthier foods and local economies will be stronger.
Supporting Message Points
When you write and speak about your cause, here are some message points to highlight. Remember that there may be different audiences you’re trying to reach with your campaign. From decision makers to other community members, each message point should be written to match the perspective of that audience member, so that everyone feels empowered and encouraged to get involved!
Effects on Economy (Audiences: Those Committed to Supporting the Local Economy/Decision Makers/Farmers’ Market Champions or Ambassadors/Local Farmers/Local Grocery and Corner Store Retailers)
SNAP boosts the local economy. Every $5 spent using SNAP generates as much as $9 in economic activity.
SNAP incentives generate job growth. Every $1 billion of SNAP benefits creates 8,900-17,900 full-time jobs.
These financial incentives can have a direct impact on revenues for local merchants, especially farmers. For example, farmer’s market vendors have reported increased sales associated with incentive programs in Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Diego & New York City.
In addition, SNAP incentives can spur increased spending on fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, which means many store owners benefit from increased sales.
Ultimately, adding financial incentives for SNAP participants generates economic growth for local communities.
Effects on SNAP Participants (Audiences: Those Committed to Increasing Access to Healthy Food/Public Health Departments/Active Parents/Local Non-Profit Organizations, like the PTA)
SNAP incentives reduce food insecurity. These financial incentives ensure that SNAP participants have greater access to nutritious foods and helps to encourage the purchase of more fruits and vegetables.
SNAP provides more nutrition assistance to low-income children than any other federal program. Without SNAP incentives, thousands of families would not be able to afford fruits and vegetables for their kids.
Because the incentive programs help families stretch their food dollars and buy healthier options, children are taught healthy behaviors, establishing lifelong habits that will support their overall health and wellness. Studies show that healthy eating can reduce risks of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.