As diet-related chronic diseases continue to jeopardize public health in the United States, improving the dietary quality of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants is essential. One strategy that has been proposed as a means of doing so is utilizing fruit and vegetable incentives. Incentives serve to lower the cost of these foods for participants and thus theoretically encourage and enable them to purchase and consume more fruits and vegetables. The existing research indicates that incentives are an effective approach for increasing fruit and vegetable purchase and consumption. However, there is lack of research on the factors that influence the outcomes of incentive programs, including the retail venues in which programs are implemented, other interventions that are deployed in conjunction with incentives, the advertising used to attract participants, the ways in which the benefits used to incentivize participants are distributed, and the value of these benefits. This research addresses this gap in the literature by examining each of these factors through a case study of completed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant projects in an effort to identify pathways for positively impacting participants’ fruit and vegetable purchase and consumption behaviors and perceptions of the affordability of these foods. Specifically, this study explores conditions and combinations of conditions that are potentially necessary and sufficient for positive program impacts.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (U.S.)--Evaluation; Nutrition policy

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Elizabeth Ruder

Advisor/Committee Member

Ann Howard

Advisor/Committee Member

Franz Foltz


Recipient of the 2019 Graduate Alumni Award: MS Thesis Award


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes