EatSF Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Program
Fresh Produce For All San Franciscans
The EatSF Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Program envisions a San Francisco where all people, in all neighborhoods, can access and afford fruits and vegetables from their local market. To reach this goal, EatSF created a program of vouchers redeemable at local stores for fresh fruits and vegetables. EatSF is currently supporting over 1,200 low-income households in the Tenderloin, SOMA, and Bayview, with a goal of citywide implementation by 2020.
This program not only provides low-income residents with crucial resources to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, but also transforms the marketplace. With more customers buying fresh produce, local vendors are encouraged to increase the variety and quality of fresh fruits and vegetables they offer, benefitting all consumers in the neighborhood. This is important because even small changes in diet can have long-term health benefits.
“The EatSF program is a win-win. It helps low-income SF residents afford healthy produce, which improves health. It also helps address food deserts by supporting the ability of food vendors to stock healthy produce.” Dr. Tomás Aragón, Health Officer, San Francisco Department of Public Health
EatSF has built a network of grocers who accept the vouchers in the Tenderloin, SOMA, and Bayview. Low-income households receive weekly vouchers that are redeemable at participating stores. At the same time, EatSF is putting in place the infrastructure and building the diverse support needed to take the program citywide.
EatSF is led by Hilary Seligman, who is Core Faculty for UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations and a physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Seligman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the health implications of food insecurity. EatSF benefits from her deep knowledge and experience, seemly boundless energy, and commitment to improving health by increasing food access and affordability.
EatSF is led by the Center for Vulnerable Populations, in partnership with a diverse group of public, non-profit and private sector partners, including:
* Diets low in fresh fruits and vegetables are associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.
* Fruits and vegetable intake is strikingly low in low-income communities, with almost 20% of low-income households reporting no weekly purchases of these foods which are critical for health.
* Although low-income households face numerous barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption, a primary barrier is the relatively high cost of these foods compared to less healthy alternatives.
* More than one-third of low-income residents of San Francisco cannot afford nutritious food.
For more information, contact EatSF: