Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks success continues
Program expands to Washtenaw County and Battle Creek with New Grant
DETROIT, MI, October 4, 2010 — It’s been a bountiful harvest season for many…and in more ways than one. Fair Food Network (FFN) announced today that it has provided in excess of $51,000 in Double Up Food Bucks tokens to metro Detroiters since the program launched on August 14 at five farmers’ markets, including Detroit Eastern Market. And more Michigan families are now reaping the benefits of Double Up Food Bucks thanks to the program’s recent expansion to Washtenaw County and the Battle Creek area with the help of significant new grant commitments.
Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), an initiative of the Fair Food Network, encourages healthier eating and provides greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income Michigan families. When Bridge Card holders shop at participating farmers’ markets, their Bridge Card purchases are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20 with DUFB tokens, which can be used to buy fresh Michigan-grown produce.
Measures of Success
Clearly, Double Up Food Bucks has had a positive and measurable impact: since the start of the program, the amount of Bridge Card benefits and DUFB tokens distributed at the five participating Detroit farmers’ markets totals more than $115,000.
At Detroit Eastern Market the average weekly distribution of combined Bridge Card benefits and DUFB tokens was $12,300 in August and September 2010. During that same time period in 2009, Bridge Card sales alone averaged $2,500.
As a strong sign of increased desire for fresh food, the Wayne State University Farmers’ Market has broken its record for Bridge Card sales in a single market day three times since Double Up Food Bucks started. The market has distributed a total of $3,570 in DUFB tokens.
Michigan farmers are also seeing a growth in sales as the demand for their products increases. Mel Holtz, comments, “The Double Up coupons are really helping us. I mean, we’ve got a big pile of them. It’s a good thing. I hope it stays going.”
Expansion to Washtenaw County and Battle Creek
In early September, the program expanded to eight additional farmers’ markets: four each in Washtenaw County and the Battle Creek area.
“Our goal is to help Michigan families in need get twice as much food while stretching their grocery budgets in a healthy direction, and by all accounts it appears that we are starting to accomplish this objective,” said Dr. Oran Hesterman, president and CEO, Fair Food Network. “And the strong collaboration and aid of so many supporters has enabled us to grow the program throughout Michigan on a faster timetable than we had anticipated.”
New Grant Commitments for Fair Food Network
Since July 31, 2010, FFN has received significant grants from the following sources: Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Battle Creek Community Foundation, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Michigan Department of Agriculture through a USDA Specialty Crop Grant, and Woodcock Foundation. Additional support has been received from Michigan Department of Human Services, USDA Rural Development, USDA Farm Services Agency, and USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of Michigan Department of Human Services and the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation.
Ishmael Ahmed, Director of Michigan Department of Human Services, comments, “Double Up Food Bucks is the prototype of public-private partnerships that supports Michigan’s economy and serves vulnerable citizens.”
For more information about Double Up Food Bucks, market locations and hours of operation, call (313) 309-0521 or visit www.DoubleUpFoodBucks.org. Farmers’ markets interested in participating in the next season should email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about obtaining a Bridge Card, call 1-888-MiBridg (1-888-642-7434) or visit www.michigan.gov/mibridges.
About Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network (FFN) is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. FFN works at the intersection of food systems and social equity to guarantee access to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. FFN implements model programs and brings the right people together to generate ideas, share resources and promote policy changes to repair our food system. To learn more about Fair Food Network, visit www.fairfoodnetwork.org.
Broadcast quality copies of the Double Up Food Bucks in Michigan video are available on DVD (preview it online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoHM11PGPKg&feature=player_embedded. The video does not have to be used in its entirety: segments may be used as b-roll for television news stories and website video stories. To obtain a DVD copy, please contact Brendy Barr at 248-651-4858 or email@example.com.
This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet should call the Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (800) 481-4989.