Chapter 18 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 30 the following section:
Section 31. The department shall establish a healthy incentives program to improve the dietary and health status of households eligible for or participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
Subject to appropriation, the department shall increase the purchasing power of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program by providing an incentive program that enhances the benefit to participating households. The enhanced benefit shall be a minimum of 30 cents per dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables, to be determined by the department in consultation with the department of public health and the department of agricultural resources. All households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall be eligible for the incentive.
The program shall be available at all retailers that accept supplemental nutritional assistance program benefits, including, but not limited to grocery stores and supermarkets, corner stores and bodegas, farmers markets, mobile markets, community-supported agriculture, and farm stands. The department may determine the eligible modes for processing the enhanced benefit, and shall seek to utilize existing methods of redeeming nutritional benefits, including electronic benefit transfer systems, token systems, and mobile loyalty and incentive platforms.
The department shall prepare and submit to the Governor, the Joint Committee on Public Health, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, an annual report that includes the impact of on appropriate health, nutrition, and associated behavioral outcomes among households participating in the program.
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