Starting this Monday, the DeKalb County Board of Health is partnering with three community organizations to provide farmers market vouchers through the Healthy Bucks voucher program – the Diabetes “You Can Win” Foundation, Inc., Lithonia Head Start, and the Ruby A. Neeson Diabetes Awareness Foundation, Inc.
Healthy Bucks, modeled after a similar program in New York City, offers incentives for community members to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and participate in nutrition education.
Clients will be able to redeem vouchers for bags of produce at any Fresh on DeK: DeKalb Mobile Farmers Market stop during this market season, which begins June 7. Fresh on DeK makes weekly stops throughout the county, providing fresh, affordable produce and food demonstrations.
About 71% of DeKalb County’s African Americans are overweight or obese. About 73% of adults and 79% of teens do not consume the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Also, the 2017 DeKalb County Community Health Assessment reported that 32% of adults feel their neighborhood does not provide access to healthy foods.
“Healthy Bucks gives us an additional means to address the health and nutrition needs of underserved residents in DeKalb County,” said Interim District Health Director Sandra J. Valenciano, M.D., M.P.H.
The Healthy Bucks voucher program is a strategy of the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Local Efforts towards Addressing Disparities (LEAD) in DeKalb initiative. LEAD DeKalb is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant.