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Minnesota Project to Encourage Eating Fresh Produce

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ST. PAUL  (AP) – A pilot project this summer will aim to put more locally-grown fruits and vegetables on the plates of thousands of Minnesotans.

The Department of Human Services is partnering with the Minnesota Grocers Association and Minnesota Grown to encourage healthy eating for food stamp recipients. Beginning in June, customers at participating grocery stores can request a $5 coupon toward their next produce purchase when they pay using an electronic benefit transfer card. The stores will be announced later this spring.

The pilot program will run until approximately 20,000 coupons are used. That’s expected sometime as harvest season comes to a close in September. The $150,000 cost is being funded through the state’s portion of a federal bonus for raising participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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