FarmboxRx partners with health plans to provide Medicare and Medicaid recipients (many of whom receive food stamps) with healthy food every month as preventative care. With thousands of applications received, Ashley Tyrner, CEO and founder, FarmboxRx, noted that Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Ohio saw more submissions.
“Over the past few months, these individuals have been hit by a tidal wave of benefit reductions (the debt ceiling passing, end of [emergency SNAP assistance] and inflation challenges that are only worsening food insecurity and raising the hunger cliff in America,” the company stated in a recent press release.
With overwhelming responses from households, Tyrner remarked the organization is looking into extending the program: “We are assessing resources to extend the program and looking to partner with other organizations to expand the impact.”
Box contents are expected to change monthly based on seasonal offerings, but will typically include a combination of 10-15 pounds of seasonal fresh produce and a week’s supply of shelf-stable healthy pantry items, like legumes, rice, oatmeal, among others from as many US growers as possible, Tyrner said.
“FarmboxRx supports US growers and local first where possible. Our primary goals are providing those we serve with high quality and sufficiency in quantity. We partner with growers across North and South America to bring our members the freshest options available.”
Shaping inclusive solutions for SNAP recipients
Emergency allotments during COVID which supplemented SNAP benefits ended in February 2023, impacting more than 40 million people. As a result, SNAP recipients may see an estimated reduction of $95-250/month, FarmboxRx stated.
In response to USDA’s 2021 issued guidance on a time limit for SNAP recipients who are able bodied adults without dependents, The Improving Access to Nutrition Act (H.R. 1510) was introduced to repeal the three-month time limit and H.R. 1753 which would repeal certain work requirements.
As discussions surrounding the improvement of SNAP benefits for Americans gain momentum, the Partnership for a Healthier America's Food Equity and Opportunity Map emerges as a valuable tool for informing and shaping inclusive solutions.
The map provides a comprehensive view of areas with high levels of food insecurity and limited access to healthy food options down to the zip code level. By utilizing this map, policymakers and advocates can gain insights into the specific challenges faced by different communities and tailor interventions to address their unique needs.
Critics of SNAP’s limitations urge Congress to readjust the program to reflect food inflation costs and the diverse dietary needs of recipients. As part of the upcoming farm bill reauthorization, SNAP’s eligibility plans will be determined this September.
FarmboxRx applications are open from June 6 – August 4, 2023. To qualify, applicants must verify their household as a SNAP/EBT recipient in a state where SNAP benefits have decreased.
Applications can be submitted here.