Boise & Garden City

Boise approves T.J. Thomson's 'Healthy Initiatives 2.0’

By next week, Boise families who qualify for the federal government's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program can receive extra assistance from the city government when buying produce from mobile markets such as the one operated by Boise Farmers Market.

The City Council approved a proposal Tuesday to offer a match, from city coffers, of up to $10 per purchase of SNAP benefits, which help people with low incomes buy healthy food. The proposal is one component of Councilman T.J. Thomson's latest push to enhance public health in Boise.

In addition to the SNAP match, Thomson has suggested new policies to curb Boise students' access to fast food and exposure to advertising, increase options for healthy food on city property and at city events and push to make new real estate development take public health into account.

A week after unveiling those proposals, Thomson backed off on his proposed ban of new fast food restaurants near high schools.

On Tuesday, the council also approved a gradual move to encouraging health-conscious real estate development, Thomson said Tuesday morning. It'll start with health impact assessments on the soon-to-be-built Bown Crossing library branch and new fire stations.