What We Do
Enrolled participants receive $20-$40 each month in fruit and vegetable vouchers
Fruit & Vegetable Purchasing
Participants use their vouchers at participating vendors to purchase fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
The program results in improved health, reduced hunger, and economic support for under-served communities
Feed People. Fight Disease. Grow Communities.
Many people are not able to eat healthy fruits and vegetables because those foods simply aren’t available or affordable where they live. Vouchers 4 Veggies is changing that. V4V provides free fruit and vegetable vouchers to low-income individuals and families.
Vouchers 4 Veggies not only provides low-income residents the crucial resources to purchase fresh produce, but also transforms the marketplace. With more customers buying fresh produce, local vendors are encouraged to increase the variety and quality of fresh fruits and vegetables they offer, benefiting all consumers in the neighborhood. With V4V, people eat better, they improve their health and communities benefit.
Every month, families and low-income adults who are chronically ill receive vouchers totaling $20 to $40 from V4V. We distribute vouchers and teach low-income residents about nutrition by working with local health clinics and community-based organizations that they already know and trust.
V4V is a triple win. Participants buy and eat more nutritious foods, improve their diets , and experience better health. Partnering organizations gain a resource to help their community members and local vendors can increase the variety and quality of fruits and vegetables they offer. With V4V, everyone wins.
Why It Works
V4V stretches the food budget for low-income families.
So far, thousands of people have benefited from V4V vouchers and are eating more fresh fruits and vegetables every week.
V4V helps families extend their limited food budgets. Our vouchers tide people over during that difficult second half of the month when income runs out.
Participants say that the vouchers are a stabilizing influence in their lives. Knowing they will get the voucher, they worry less about where their next meal is coming from or how to obtain healthy foods for their growing children.
“I can now have food from the middle to the end of the month, so I always have food in my house.”
– Vouchers 4 Veggies – EatSF client
V4V helps families develop healthy habits.
The Vouchers 4 Veggies voucher program helps low-income residents integrate more nutritious foods into their diets.
The weekly vouchers are time limited, so users develop the habit of shopping for produce regularly from stores located in their own neighborhoods. The vouchers give families a choice of healthy foods that fit with their culture and tastes.
V4V provides nutrition education to help low-income residents learn more about how nutrients in food affect their health. A key element of the program is learning how to choose and prepare fruits and vegetables on a limited budget.
Just six months in the V4V program, with our combination of education and food vouchers, helps people develop life-long healthy eating habits.
“My health has improved all around: blood pressure, weight, blood sugar. All of my exams have turned out better.”
– Vouchers 4 Veggies – EatSF Client
V4V is good for the whole neighborhood.
Too few retail outlets in low-income neighborhoods sell healthy and affordable foods.
Many cities across the country are starting healthy retail initiatives, working with local store owners to see that fresh fruits and vegetables are stocked nearby where low-income residents can access them.
But many store owners find that produce doesn’t sell and regularly discard wilting fruits and vegetables because neighborhood residents can’t afford them.
Vouchers 4 Veggies distributes fruit and vegetable vouchers to low-income residents through local community organizations and clinics and works with neighborhood stores. Store owners in low-income neighborhoods who accept the vouchers say that V4V has changed what food their customers buy. They are re-stocking fruits and vegetables more often and throwing away less. This allows them to increase the variety and quality of the produce they stock.
By increasing a neighborhood’s supply and quality of fruits and vegetables, our voucher system supports the healthy eating habits of both residents who use the vouchers and those who don’t use them, but shop in the same stores.