Double Up Food Bucks Event to Expand Reach in Flint, Bringing More Healthy Food to More Families
Summer kickoff events to take place Saturday, June 22 at nine participating locations across Flint.
12 JUNE 2019 | FLINT, Mich. – Approximately 1.4 million people in Michigan rely on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or food stamps, to feed their families. In Flint, this includes 54 percent of all households. Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program increases the buying power of SNAP recipients to buy more fruits and vegetables while supporting Michigan farmers. The program has been a tremendous success in Flint since launching in 2011, further expanding in 2016 in response to the city’s water crisis.
Food Fair Network representatives along with Double Up Flint community ambassadors are kicking off the summer produce season at nine participating Double Up locations across Flint on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shoppers who visit participating Double Up sites will receive giveaways and coupons, plus be entered to win $20 worth of FREE produce. Double Up representatives will also be on hand to sign-up new users and answer any questions. Anyone with a Bridge Card is eligible to sign up for Double Up for free.
“One of the best ways to support Flint’s children and families for years to come is to ensure good nutrition,” said Kellie Boyd, Double Up Food Bucks director at the Fair Food Network. “In 2016, we expanded the Double Up program in Flint to reach more residents with the healthy foods needed to limit lead absorption stemming from the city’s water crisis. Since then we have seen an extraordinary increase in program use, but there are still so many more families who could be using this program.”
Here’s how Double Up work in Flint: Any fruit, vegetable, or milk purchase with SNAP earns a dollar-for-dollar match up to $20 a day in FREE Double Up Food Bucks that can be spent on any fresh produce.
From June 2016 through April 2019, Flint residents have brought home more than $775,000 in fresh fruits and vegetables with Double Up Food Bucks. Combined with SNAP, this equals $1,479,000 million worth of nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk which are critical to helping mitigate lead exposure.
Double Up is also reaching more Flint families. Since June 2016, more than 14,000 SNAP participants have used Double Up, which is more than half of the city’s SNAP households. This is a significant increase from an estimated 9 percent of SNAP households reached before the 2016 program expansion.
Key to the program’s success has been its year-round availability and use of innovative technology to allow residents to carry earned Double Up Food Bucks on a loyalty card that can be used at any participating site in the city. This first-of-its-kind technology—developed by a local Flint company—has led to high redemption rates of 91 percent of Double Up dollars distributed, used by residents to bring home more fresh produce.
Added Boyd, “No parent should ever have to worry if there will be enough food to feed their family at the end of the day. We’re honored that Double Up has become an integral part of Flint’s recovery—bringing millions of dollars’ worth of nutritious produce into Flint homes plus economic benefits for area farmers and local markets.”
Flint Double Up sites participating in the June 22 Double Up Food Bucks Summer Kickoff event include:
- Flint Farmers’ Market: 300 East First St., Tues. and Thurs. 9am-6pm, Sat. 8am-5pm
- Great Giant Supermarket: 5204 Saginaw St., Mon.-Sat. 8am-8pm, Sun. 8am-7pm
- Hutchinson Food and Drug: 6509 N Saginaw St., Mon.-Sat. 9am-8pm, Sun. 9am-6pm
- Landmark Food Center: 206 West Pierson Rd., Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm, Sun. 8am-7pm
- Landmark Food Center: 4644 Fenton Rd., Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm, Sun. 8am-7pm
- Longhorn Meat Market: 3236 Corunna Rd., Mon.-Sat. 9am-8pm, Sun. 10am-5pm
- Mr. B’s- Dupont Street: 4311 Dupont St., Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm, Sun. 9am-7pm
- Fresh Choice: 1916 Davison Rd., Mon.-Sat. 8am-9pm, Sun. 8am-7pm
- The Local Grocer: 601 Martin Luther King Ave., Mon.-Fri. 8am-8pm, Sat.-Sun. 11am-6pm
Flint Fresh Mobile is another Double Up vendor; however, it will not be participating in the Summer Kickoff event. Market Mobile market locations and times vary daily. Visit FlintFresh.com for current schedule
Flint residents can learn more about Double Up Food Bucks and find answers to frequently asked questions at http://www.doubleupfoodbucks.org/flint/.
FAIR FOOD NETWORK is a national nonprofit whose mission is to grow community health and wealth through food. A decade in, our work is connecting people to the power of food to improve health, ignite local economies, and open opportunities for all—especially in our most underserved communities. Dig deeper at fairfoodnetwork.org and doubleupfoodbucks.org | Join the conversation at #DoubleUp and #Flint.