Voices of Double Up in America
November 12, 2016
 
 

This year, we sat down with some of the families, farmers, market managers, store owners, and others that make Double Up Food Bucks a success in Michigan and now in communities across America.

The result?

Real people, remarkable stories, and a deep sense of privilege to do this work alongside our partners.

See below for highlights from the first batch of stories plus a new video from our work in Flint. And follow #DoubleUp on Facebook and Twitter to track this real-life storytelling series.

“So as much as it was a nutrition program for us, Double Up was also a learning program for me to be able to teach my son, ‘Hey, this is the stuff that’s going to help you stay healthier, help you feel better throughout the day.’”

Double Up Shopper

“Double Up benefited us all.”

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How this healthy food incentive program helped one family during a time of need, and in the process, changed the way they eat forever.

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Double Up Grows in Flint

Flint Video

Double Up is expanding in Flint to help more children and families get more healthy food, precisely when they need it most. From Dr. Mona to Mama Sol, and Congressman Kildee to Flint residents, hear the voices of this work.

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“That’s what Double Up is all about: being able to get fresh Michigan fruits and vegetables, grown locally, that were picked within the last twenty-four hours, onto the customer’s table when they usually would not be able to afford to.”

Robert Bylstra
Owner
Green Meadow Produce

“It’s helping us make a living.”

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Double Up is not only getting more healthy food to those in need, but helping a family farm makes ends meet. Hear from one Amish farmer from a small town in western Michigan.

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"Just having the market connects us to the community, but I think adding in Double Up multiplies that. We're seeing a new influx of people coming to shop at the market because of Double Up."

Carol Moody
Market Manager
Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market

“My only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner.”

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SNAP incentives can support the financial viability of many farmers markets by bringing in new customers and boosting vendor sales. Hear from one market manager on the difference this program has had for her market.

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“In the end, you’re helping customers with their families and their lives by offering the program. If that’s not reason enough to participate, honestly I question why you’re in this business.”

Mike Beal
Chief Operating Officer
Balls Food Stores

“It’s a win-win. There is no downside”

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Helping more Americans buy more fresh produce is great from a business perspective and it benefits the community. Hear from a grocery leader on why they brought Double Up to their stores.

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“Double Up puts me in a situation where not only can I buy fresh food every single week, but I can buy more fresh food. It is just a blessing.”

Gail Lang
Double Up Shopper
Coweta, Oklahoma

“I’m committed to not just healthy eating, but buying local to support the people who live in this area.”

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For some low-income Americans, their food budget is determined by the SNAP benefits they receive. Double Up is helping one shopper in Tulsa, Oklahoma double her food dollars for fresh food.

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“Double Up provides an economic development opportunity because the money stays within communities and with our local farmers. And it’s helping citizens that need some additional assistance finding access to fruits and vegetables, which we know is critical.”

Jami Haberl
Executive Director
Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

“You can’t have a strong workforce without healthy people.”

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A local group incubated by area business leaders launched Double Up to boost the health and economic vitality of the state. Hear from a community leader about this work.

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"It's one of those programs that acutally works in that the consumer is getting a really good deal and the farmers is actually able to make a living."

Alex Pino
Revolution Farm

“The consumer is getting a good deal and the farmer is able to make a living.”

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SNAP incentives support eaters, growers, and local communities. Hear from a farmer in New Mexico about the benefits Double Up is delivering for his farm, plus the positive ripple effects across the community.

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“We’re trying to level the playing field and make sure that there’s equity and just food access. The cost on the front end, even including incentives, versus the larger cost that we would pay on the back end is well worth the investment.”

Brenda Calvin
Program Officer
Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

“It’s well worth the investment.”

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Healthy food incentives are helping level the playing field, while producing long-term health dividends. Hear from a health care funder on why she’s behind Double Up.

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