Electronic income

A creative idea to bring fresh food to low-income Rhode Islanders

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Currently hospitalized: 459

Total number of deaths: 3,144

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The Rhode Island Public Health Institute and a coalition of nonprofits and other advocates are calling on state leaders to approve $ 25 million in federal funding for the US bailout to offer a 50% discount on fresh produce in grocery stores for residents who use the supplementary nutritional assistance program (food stamps).

The Nourish Rhode Island coalition holds a 1 p.m. press conference to advocate for the $ 25 million allocation.

A report released last year by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank found that more than 18% of the state’s households lacked consistent access to nutritious food, and those numbers are rising for black and Latino residents and for those who have children.

The concept of offering SNAP incentives for purchasing nutritious foods is not new, and the Rhode Island Public Health Institute already operates a mobile produce market that offers half of the fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables to beneficiaries of the. SNAP (some farmers’ markets do, too).

This proposal would extend these discount offers to retail grocery stores where it is much more common for SNAP recipients to shop.

Under the proposal, $ 22.5 million would be set aside for the program itself, $ 2 million would be set aside for technology upgrades to automatically administer the incentive, and $ 250,000 would go to the Department of Social Services for hire two employees to oversee the program.

A similar proposal was presented last year by the state senator Val Lawson, and the program would have been funded by a new tax on sugary drinks. If the program is approved using US bailout funding, lawmakers will need to find a way to pay for it in the future. Currently, 144,000 Rhode Islanders receive SNAP benefits each month, including 46,000 children and 30,000 people over the age of 60. The average monthly benefit is $ 144.

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?? Birthdays: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member recognized on Friday, email me with their first name, last name and age.

Governor Dan McKee and director of the health department Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott organize a COVID-19 briefing at 10:30 am

⚓ The Rhode Island Department of Education will announce $ 20 million in funding for school facilities in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, West Warwick and Woonsocket.

⚓ The Special Commission on Redistribution (Redistribution) meets at 5 p.m. to vote on the cards of the House, Senate and Congress.

My previous column

Politicians have stolen a magistrate’s post from Bill Trezvant 16 years ago. But Governor McKee righted a wrong by making Trezvant a district court judge. If you missed the column, you can read it here. And all of my columns are on our Rhode Island reviews page.

Rhode Island Report Podcast

Ed fitzpatrick talk to Marcela Betancur from the Latino Policy Institute on the priorities of the Latino community in 2022. Listen to all of our podcasts here.

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You can reach Dan McGowan at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.