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Harvest Market Launches Health Food Incentive

Harvest Market

Harvest Market in Northern California has become the first grocery store in the country to offer healthy food incentives onto a customer’s EBT card. The California independent grocer began participating in this health food incentive rebate program March 7.

The instant rebates are provided to participants in CalFresh (California’s federally funded food assistance benefits program, also known as SNAP), who earn matching dollars when they buy California-grown fruits and vegetables. If a shopper buys $5 worth of local produce, they receive $5 on their EBT card. 

Customers can earn up to $60 in rebates per month at the Harvest Market locations in Fort Bragg and Mendocino, California. The project was spearheaded by SPUR – the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association – a nonprofit public policy organization. 

These programs have been proven to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables leading to reduced hunger, improved health and increased business for the California agriculture industry.

“Right now, with inflation, a reduction in public assistance benefits and pandemic benefits ending, people need help. And they need help on eating fresher, healthier food,” said Harvest Market VP Jennifer Bosma.

“This program gets fresh produce into more homes and encourages people to eat healthier. They get more food for their EBT dollar, and it helps California farmers.” 

As Bosma mentioned, the termination of the COVID-19 State of Emergency causes a loss of $18 million in retail grocery spending from SNAP.

The CalFresh pilot project will run through December. California Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula introduced a $94 million proposal in the California Legislature to expand this program to reach hundreds of thousands of people at grocery stores and farmers markets across the state. 

Harvest Market is a family-owned business started by Tom Honer in May 1985. It began as a single, traditional grocery store and has evolved into three stores that reflect a unique blend of conventional, specialty, organic, domestic, international and local products.

To continue the family tradition and expand the vision, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Tim Bosma joined the business in 2005. Their focus has included community support and sustainability practices.

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