DES MOINES, Iowa — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon unveil “Healthy Initiatives,” a $20 million pilot program that will offer cash incentives to urge lower-income shoppers to choose healthy foods.
More details will be released about the program in January, he told local media outlets during a visit to a Hy-Vee location here. During the visit, Vilsack said that choosing better-for-you foods using current nutrition labels can be confusing for average customers, according to pool reports.
He praised the NuVal nutritional scoring system developed by Topco Associates in conjunction with Griffin Hospital and doctors at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Used by Hy-Vee and other retailers throughout the country, NuVal assigns scores between 1 and 100 to foods based on their nutritional value, making it simpler for shoppers to choose between similar foods in similar categories.
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