Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks Model Expands Across U.S.

Double Up programs in 9 states receive USDA funding to improve healthy food access, support farmers

JUNE 8, 2016 | ANN ARBOR, MI—Fair Food Network announced today that partners working in nine states received more than $7 million in federal funding to launch or expand Double Up Food Bucks programs, which increase the value of food stamps for healthy foods.
Double Up efforts will reach more than one million SNAP recipients in 235 farmers markets and 148 grocery and corner stores in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, and Oklahoma. Kansas and Missouri will unite efforts in the first multi-state statewide effort. Project overviews are available at the bottom of the release.
“Double Up improves the nutrition of low-income families and the bottom lines of local farmers,” said Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network, which developed the Double Up model in Michigan in 2009. “We’re honored to work with local partners nationwide as they bring this tested model to their communities.”
Double Up increases low-income shoppers’ purchasing power for fruits and vegetables while supporting local growers. For instance, a family that spends $10 in SNAP benefits at a participating farmers market or grocery store receives an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks to bring home locally grown fruits and vegetables. (SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.)
Double Up has garnered a wide array of supporters with advocates pointing to its threefold wins:
  • getting more healthy food to low-income families;
  • putting more money in the pockets of local growers;
  • boosting local food economies.
This is the second round of funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food & Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants program established in the 2014 Farm Bill. In 2015, FINI funding supported partners in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah in launching incentive programs in consultation with Fair Food Network. Fair Food Network received the second largest grant nationally to support work in Michigan and Ohio.
Organizations that adopt the Double Up model benefit from Fair Food Network’s years of experience, along with tools and templates such as marketing materials to help them quickly establish programs in their communities.
“We simply could not launch our SNAP incentive program without Fair Food Network’s support,” said Katrina Betancourt, president of the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, which is piloting Double Up in 21 farmers markets this year.
Since the 2009 launch of Double Up in Michigan, SNAP shoppers have spent more than $8 million in combined Double Up and SNAP benefits on healthy food. More than 1,000 Michigan farmers participate annually.
2016 USDA supported Double Up projects include: 
$400,000 | Farmers Markets 
Arizona received $400,000 in federal funding to launch a healthy food incentive program in the state under the banner of Double Up Food Bucks Arizona. By 2018, Double Up will be at 12 farmers markets, mobile markets, and CSA sites in Maricopa, Yavapai, Pinal, and Pima Counties, reaching an estimated 32,000 SNAP recipients, including families in underserved communities near the Mexico border and reaching the Tohono O’odham American Indian community. More than 18 percent of the state’s population lives at or below the federal poverty line. This project is made possible through the collaborative work of 20 different funding and programing partners. Matching funds bring total support to more than $805,000.
Grant Recipient: Pinnacle Prevention
$94,000 | Farmers Markets
Arkansas received $94,000 to launch a one-year Double Up Food Bucks pilot program in 21 farmers markets across the state. The program is expected to reach 188,000 residents across rural and urban communities—more than half of Arkansas’s SNAP-eligible participants. The grant was matched with more than $166,750 of in-kind support. Arkansas has the highest adult obesity rate in the nation. Participating markets will target places of greatest need in the state, including StrikeForce counties, areas with lowest life expectancy, high poverty rates, and designated food deserts. In addition to the Double Up benefits, the pilot will also provide nutrition education for SNAP recipients. The project is made possible by a coalition of state partners, including Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Department of Health, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and the Arkansas Farmer’s Market Association.
Grant Recipient: Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention
$500,000 | Farmers Markets & Grocery Stores
A statewide coalition of more than 50 partners in Colorado received $500,000 to launch Double Up Food Bucks statewide. With matching funds, the total project budget is $1 million. By 2018, the Double Up Colorado program is anticipated to include at least 35 farmers markets and a dozen other retailers, such as corner stores, grocers, CSAs, and urban farm stands. This project is a public-private partnership led by LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Farmers Market Association, Cooking Matters-Colorado, Boulder County Public Health, and many others.
Grant Recipient: LiveWell Colorado
Kansas and Missouri
$2.9 Million | Farmers Markets & Grocery Stores
Kansas and Missouri received $2.9 million in FINI funding to expand Double Up Food Bucks across both states, uniting previous efforts in the first multi-state statewide effort. Matching funds from private and local public funders bring total support to $5.8 million. By 2019, Double Up programs will be in 117 grocery stores and 68 farmers markets, reaching more than 316,000 SNAP recipients across urban and rural communities. Program expansion is made possible by more than 20 funding and program partners.
Grant Recipient: Mid-America Regional Council
New Mexico 
$2.1 Million | Farmers Markets & Grocery Stores
Building on a successful 2015 FINI-funded pilot project, New Mexico received $2.1 million to expand Double Up Food Bucks statewide. New Mexico provided an additional $390,300 annually, marking the first time that a state legislature has provided matching funds for a food incentive program. During 2016, Double Up will expand to more than 75 retail outlets across the state, including 50 farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands, and Community Supported Agriculture outlets, as well as nine grocery store sites. In 2016 alone, Double Up is projected to impact 25,000 SNAP shoppers and 800 small farms stimulating an average of $1.2 million annually in local food sales. The program will also work in tandem with a SNAP Rx program pilot in three counties, fostering partnerships with healthcare providers to address diet and food-related illnesses.
Grant Recipient: New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association
$481,100 | Farmers Markets 
Oklahoma received $481,100 to expand an existing Double Up Food Bucks program to nine farmers markets by 2018. Matching funds bring total support to more than $962,300. The Double Up expansion will reach 280,000 SNAP participants. In 2014, Oklahoma had the sixth highest household poverty rate, and its residents also have some of the worst health outcomes in the country, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—all of which are contributable to poor nutrition. Participating markets include work in Tulsa, Tahlequah, Guthrie, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Norman, and Oklahoma City. Of the nine sites, five are rural markets located in the Cherokee and Creek tribal nations, which face high poverty rates and food insecurity.
Grant Recipient: Community Service Council
Santa Clara County, California
$308,131 | Grocery Stores
Santa Clara County received $308,131 to expand healthy food incentives into grocery stores—the first time the Double Up Food Bucks model of incentives will be in any grocery store in California. The project will launch in four stores serving up to 4,000 residents. One in 10 adults in the county say their family is food insecure. It is made possible by a collaboration between multiple funding and program partners with matching contributions bringing total support to more than $450,000.
Grant Recipient: SPUR (San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association)
Western New York State
$394,000 | Farmers Markets & Corner Stores
Western New York received more than $394,000 to expand an existing Double Up Food Bucks program to 15 farmers markets and up to 6 healthy corner stores by 2019. Matching funds brings total support to more than $1.2 million. Three of the participating farmers markets will be mobile, and two of the farmers markets will operate year-round. Double Up will serve up to 30,000 residents across 11 counties in Western New York. This includes Buffalo, Rochester, and the Niagara Falls area, all of which far surpass the New York state average of 15.3 percent of the population living below the poverty line, ranking at 30.7, 32.9, and 24.9 percent respectively. This region is also known for its rich agricultural production, with more than 8,800 mostly small scale farms.
Grant Recipient: Field & Fork Network
Read online. Check out USDA release here
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Media Contact: Emilie Engelhard | 773.573.8391 | eengelhard@fairfoodnetwork.org