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At Fair Food Network, we believe that when we start with food, so much is possible: collaborative solutions, vibrant communities, and new paths forward. Together, we can grow a more equitable, resilient food economy.
First piloted in Michigan in 2009, our Double Up Food Bucks program now serves as a national model for nutrition incentives. Double Up matches SNAP (or food stamp) purchases of fruits and vegetables, helping families with low income bring home more healthy food while boosting business for farmers and food retailers.
We support food and farm businesses with catalytic capital, wrap-around business services, and a commitment to place-based impact investing collectives. We focus our investments on people who are most often overlooked by traditional investors, particularly people who have been marginalized due to their race, ethnicity, and/or gender. Together, we are building a more vibrant, inclusive food economy.
Leveraging our experience and lessons learned from building and scaling programs like Double Up Food Bucks, we lead technical assistance and innovation for the Nutrition Incentive Hub, a USDA-supported center launched in partnership with Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition. The Hub strengthens nutrition incentive and produce prescription projects across the country.
From expanding healthy food access through our signature Double Up Food Bucks program, to investing in food and farm businesses across Michigan and the Northeast, our approach is designed to create an immediate impact and long-term systems change.
Total dollars we invested into communities in 2022.
Total dollars that went to families using SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks since 2010
Pounds of healthy food purchased with SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks in Michigan over the last 13 years.
Our Double Up Food Bucks program partnered with Taste the Local Difference to explore new ways to stock Detroit grocery store shelves with Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. This project helps people participating in Double Up bring home more fresh, locally -grown produce. See how the team strengthened connections between local food distribution systems, suppliers, and grocery stores.
When we can better connect the farmer to the retailer to the consumer, we can alleviate a lot of challenges in the community — more dollars into the pockets of farmers, strong local economies, and more healthy food choices for Michigan families.
— Paul Green, Taste the Local Difference
Despite the good intentions and creative strategies of impact investors, extreme wealth inequity persists. The climate crisis will only deepen the divide, unless we change quickly. Many impact investors are investing and giving more to meet the challenges of our world. But entrenched relational norms that prioritize capital and transactions over community and relationships are much slower to change.
Much of the work of our policy team is designed to broaden access to healthy foods by expanding nutrition incentive programs to more people in more places. Our team’s partnership with Sustainable Food Center and the American Heart Association, supported by funding by the Dell Foundation, ushered in the most significant geographic expansion of state SNAP nutrition incentive program funding in the South to date.
Texas legislators from both sides of the aisle came together to invest in nutrition.
— Alex Canepa, Assoc. Director of Policy, Fair Food Network
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