Healthy Farm & Food Campaign

Kentucky-Grown in Kentucky Homes

The Healthy Farm and Food Incentive Fund gives all Kentuckians a choice when it comes to their food. More local food purchased equals more dollars in our farmers pockets.

To learn more about this effort or to get involved, contact CFA Policy Campaign Coordinate Kimmie Ishmael at kimberly@cfaky.org.

The Issue

Kentucky families are hungry and Kentucky farmers are working hard to feed them, but Kentucky needs stability for direct farm impact food access programs in order to close the gap. Whereas other states have set aside General Funds to incentivize SNAP and bolster healthy food access, Kentucky has chosen to devote Master Tobacco Settlement funds to support agriculture and improve public health, which gives us a unique opportunity. Each year around $121M is divided between these two areas. Even though healthy food access impacts both sectors, currently only the agriculture portion of the fund is supporting these programs. This creates instability and jeopardizes sustainable funding for Kentucky’s direct farm impact healthy food access incentive programs.

Pre-pandemic data reflects national food insecurity rates the lowest they have been in more than 20 years, but the current crisis has reversed any improvements, with millions of people newly experiencing food insecurity.

The Solution

A Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund would set aside 1.5% of the total pool of Master Tobacco Settlement funds to leverage additional matching federal funds. This would significantly increase the amount of funding available to support successful programs which ensure that low-income Kentuckians—especially those utilizing SNAP—have access to affordable, healthy, locally-grown food.

Introducing and passing this Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund legislation will build upon current momentum, create stability for and foster growth of direct farm impact food access incentive programs—such as Kentucky Double Dollars and Fresh RX for MOMs—and pave the way for additional policies that support the vitality of Kentucky agriculture and the health of Kentuckians.

The Impact

From the creation of the Farms to Food Banks Program in 2011 to the Kentucky Double Dollars Program and others, Kentucky NGOs, state agencies, and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) have worked together to address low-income Kentuckians’ lack of access to healthy food. Through these incentive programs, low-income families gain more access to locally grown produce which has increased sales for Kentucky farmers. Stabilizing support for these solutions through the Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund is good for Kentucky farmers, families, communities, and the economy.

  • Farmers:  These programs help farmers grow their businesses through increased sales from new and repeating customers who otherwise would not be able to afford locally-grown food. Increasing capacity for matched federal dollars increases profits for farmers.
  • Families:  By increasing the accessibility of healthy locally-grown foods, the Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund will decrease household food insecurity and simultaneously improve the dietary health outcomes of Kentucky’s children and their families.
  • Communities:  With more Kentuckians gaining access to locally-raised fresh produce, meat, eggs, and dairy, the Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund builds healthier communities across the Commonwealth.
  • Economy:  The Healthy Farm & Food Incentive Fund will bring more federal dollars flowing into the state, which will raise the percentage of families’ grocery budgets spent on Kentucky-grown foods, increasing the amount of money in Kentucky farmers’ pockets and keeping more dollars local.

This graph depicts the amount of money redeemed through local food incentive programs from 2017—2020 at Kentucky farmers markets, community markets, and retail stores.