Don’t Just Live…Thrive

Currently, the 46 million Americans on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits at fast food restaurants and convenience stores, but can’t use them online to buy healthy food.

This is a serious issue as, currently, more than one-third of adults are considered to be obese in the United States. More than 1 in 20 have extreme obesity.

Living on food stamps, we were faced with a hard choice: buy enough food to feed a family of five or buy the kind of healthy food my mom needs to fight her disease and stay alive.

Thrive Market is working to change that. Thrive is an e-commerce platform on a mission to make natural, healthy products affordable for everyone (think Whole Foods meets Costco).

This week, the company is launching a major petition asking the USDA to allow people to use their SNAP benefits online. Launch week begins today, with a congressional briefing scheduled for July 12th in DC, sponsored by Congressman Tim Ryan.

Meet one of the families who would benefit from the change:

Access for Everyone

Thrive believes that change is possible. Secretary Vilsack of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can demand that all states implement a system so that families like the one in the video can use their food stamps online to access healthy food.

If you think this issue doesn't really concern you or anyone that you know, remember that more than 23 million Americans live in areas with little to no access to healthy food, called "food deserts." Moreover, treating diabetes costs the medical system $245 billion annually, and the cost associated with heart disease adds another $444 billion a year.

By enabling people to buy healthy food with their food stamps regardless of where they live, Thrive hopes to help prevent disease and save lives (and perhaps even save money).

Want to lead your support? Sign the petition here.

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