by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: money-matters-10-13-16
Iowa may rank 1st in corn production but it ranks 50th when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables.
Aryn McLaren is director of programs for Iowa Healthiest State Initiative.
She says Iowa has some challenges with eating healthy food.
“Iowans eat about one serving of fruits and one and half servings of vegetables per day. Far below the recommended serving of five servings of fruit and vegetables.”
McLaren says the number one reason they don’t is cost.
“People thought it was too expensive to get healthy foods and the second being transportation, both of those are socioeconomic issues.”
One way McLaren their working on this problem is through a program called Double Up Food Bucks’.
“Double Up Food Bucks’ is a food incentive program that is specifically focused for low income Iowans receiving federal food assistance otherwise known as SNAP. SNAP recipients can come to participating farmer’s markets and those double up food bucks are eligible to be spent on local fruits and vegetables.”
She says buying local means helping local farmers.
“The dollars that double up food bucks provides are only eligible to be spend on locally grown fruits and vegetables so that means the dollars are going straight into pockets of Iowa farmers and staying within the local communities.”
McLaren adds the program began this year and says they plan to scale up efforts in the next three years.