Double Up Food Bucks program to expand fresh food access now underway across Michigan
Fourth season features innovations to reach more Michigan residents
ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Double Up Food Bucks, the successful program designed by Fair Food Network both to expand access to healthy food for low-income Michigan residents and to support Michigan farmers, is now underway for a fourth season.
Double Up Food Bucks doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits—also known as SNAP, or food stamps—when used for fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables at nearly 100 farmers’ markets across Michigan.
Consumers can see a map of participating markets and watch a video of how the program works at Doubleupfoodbucks.org.
This year, Fair Food Network has also launched an initiative to make Double Up Food Bucks available at three full-service grocery stores in Detroit: Metro Foodland, Mike’s Fresh Market on Gratiot and Honey Bee Market.
“Double Up Food Bucks has a strong record of success, and the grocery pilot will expand that impact,” said Fair Food Network President and CEO Oran Hesterman. “By reaching shoppers in grocery stores, we’re continuing to build the model for a scalable program”
In the grocery pilot, SNAP recipients who spend at least $10 on produce items using a Michigan Bridge Card will get a Double Up Food Bucks Reward Card good for another $10 of Michigan-grown produce.
Also new this year, Kent County farmers’ markets will use mobile technology that allows vendors to process SNAP benefits electronically. That means SNAP customers can use their Michigan Bridge cards to participate in Double Up Food Bucks directly with individual farmers rather than first obtaining Double Up tokens from a central booth.
“The Kent County initiative makes Double Up Food Bucks easier for both consumers and vendors,” Hesterman said. “Our hope is that the innovations we pioneer in Michigan will one day help vulnerable families across the nation.”
Double Up Food Bucks began in 2009 at five farmers’ markets in Detroit. Customers have since visited scores of participating markets over 100,000 times, spending about $3.5 million in combined SNAP benefits and incentive dollars for fresh, healthful foods from local producers. Currently, 43 percent of farmers’ markets in Michigan are authorized to accept SNAP benefits.
Double Up Food Bucks is supported by nearly 50 funders, including:
- Americana Foundation
- Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
- Bank of America
- Battle Creek Community Foundation
- Bay Area Community Foundation
- Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department
- C.S. Mott Foundation
- Capital Region Community Foundation
- Charter One Foundation
- Chelsea Community Foundation
- Community Foundation for Muskegon County
- Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Erb Family Foundation
- Four County Community Foundation
- Grand Rapids Community Foundation
- Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
- Jackson County Community Foundation
- John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Kresge Foundation
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
- McGregor Fund
- Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Michigan Department of Human Services
- Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation
- New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
- Newman's Own Foundation
- Open Society Foundations
- Osprey Foundation
- Panta Rhea
- R.E. Olds Foundation
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Ruth Mott Foundation
- Saginaw Community Foundation
- Slemons Foundation
- The Jewish Fund
- Toledo Community Foundation
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- United Way of Greater Toledo
- United Way of Southeast Michigan
- University of Toledo
- Uplift Solutions
- Utopia Foundation
- Village of Dundee
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Whole Foods Market
- Wholesome Wave
- Woodcock Foundation
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About Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. The organization works at the intersection of food systems, sustainability and social equity to provide access to healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities.
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