Healthy eating plan could save money on food stamps

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A pilot program that subsidizes fruits and vegetables in Massachusetts could have a significant impact on food stamp recipients across the country.

More than 47 million Americans receive food stamp benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Making some changes to the program could improve their health and save you some money.

In a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, researchers looked at how food purchasing and consumption would change if food stamps couldn’t be used to buy sugary drinks, and if 30% of fruit and vegetable purchases were returned to recipients’ accounts.

They found that over ten years, more than 420,000 people would not become obese, and some 240,000 would not be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Supporters of the plan told 22News that a lot of people mindlessly eat, so anything pointing them in the right direction helps.

“People overeat and they don’t listen to their body and they stuff themselves without thinking,” George Vigneault of Longmeadow said.

Changes to the $80 billion SNAP plan could ultimately save you money if fewer people required federal dollars for diabetes and obesity related costs.

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