Fair Food Network Boosts Double Up Food Bucks Michigan Program to Allow Participants to Earn $20-Per-Day to Buy Fruits and Vegetables
Double Up Food Bucks helps people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy more healthy food by matching their purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables
2 October 2023—Today, Fair Food Network announced it will boost its Double Up Food Bucks Michigan program to allow eligible economically disadvantaged shoppers to earn up to $20-a-day to buy fruits and vegetables, an increase from $10-a-day, effective October 1. Participants will also be able to spend any amount that they have cumulatively earned through the program, a change from the previous $10-a-day spending limit.
“We are now able to meet the number one request from our community of participants to allow Michigan families to earn and spend more of their Double Up Food Bucks benefits so they can put more healthy food on the table,” commented Kate Krauss, CEO at Fair Food Network. “We couldn’t make this happen without support from Double Up champions, including our funders, implementing partners, legislative advocates at the state and federal levels, and community members. This change will make a meaningful difference for those using SNAP and Double Up to supplement their monthly food budget to bring home healthy food.”
Double Up Food Bucks was piloted by Fair Food Network in Detroit in 2009 and it has since become a national model for nutrition incentive programs. The program helps SNAP participants make their benefits go further by providing a dollar-for-dollar match when they buy fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets and grocery stores so they can ultimately put more healthy food on the table. This proven approach is a triple win: more healthy food for families, better business for farmers, and a boost for local economies. Today, Double Up is offered in more than 240 locations across Michigan. From 2019 to 2022, usage of the program increased by 212%, helping families stretch their monthly food budget and afford more fruits and vegetables during a time with record rates of inflation on grocery items.
From August 1, 2022 to January 22, 2023, Fair Food Network established a temporary pause for Double Up Food Bucks on program earning at participating grocery stores across the state – excluding all Double Up Flint locations. This temporary pause allowed Double Up to sustain available program funding. The program ended its temporary pause in January 2023, and offered the program with a new spending cap of $10 a day, rather than $20 a day in previous years.
“Double Up continues to be an essential community resource, helping individuals and families using SNAP bring home more fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, especially during times of high inflation and reduced COVID-era federal benefits,” commented Holly Parker, Chief Strategy & Program officer at Fair Food Network. “In addition to helping families bring home more healthy food, the program puts more dollars into the pockets of Michigan farmers and supports local economies.”
The program is funded by a combination of state, federal, and philanthropic dollars. Federal funds for Double Up require a match with state and philanthropic dollars. In June 2023, the State of Michigan increased its funding for Double Up Food Bucks through the passage of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development budget, including $4.9 million over the remainder of fiscal years 2023 and 2024.
“Fair Food Network’s greatest goal is to improve healthy food access and choice for families who are economically disadvantaged while supporting farmers and food retailers involved in nutrition incentive programs and produce prescription programs in Michigan and across the country,” commented Krauss. “We want more programs like Double Up in Michigan to grow and improve nutrition security from coast to coast.”
Fair Food Network is leading advocacy efforts to support increased federal funding, among other improvements, for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) in the 2023 farm bill. GusNIP supports 111 active nutrition incentive and produce prescription projects nationwide—improving healthy food access and consumption for people with low income.
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About Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit and investor that grows community health and wealth through food. We transform how resources flow through the food economy for a more fair and resilient future. Our approach integrates policy advocacy that brings proven solutions to scale, partnerships that increase our collective impact, and investments in food organizations and businesses that serve their communities. We’re building a world in which everyone has access to healthy choices, economic opportunity, and a resilient environment. We believe that when we start with food, everything else is possible.