Healthy Food for Michigan Families — Support for Michigan Farmers
DOUBLE UP FOOD BUCKS PROGRAM EXPANSION TO PROVIDE
GREATER ACCESS TO FRESH PRODUCE FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 25, 2012 — Results of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation-commissioned national poll indicate that 75 percent of Americans support a nationwide program to double the value of SNAP (Bridge Card) benefits when used at farmers’ markets . As summer’s bounty of farm-fresh produce begins to fill the market stands, Fair Food Network (FFN) celebrates the third season of its highly successful statewide Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program, which does just that. This year DUFB introduces some exciting new developments to provide even more low-income Michigan families with greater access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables.
There are now more than 100 sites across Michigan that participate in DUFB, including mobile food trucks, food share programs, and more than 70 farmers’ markets. At these locations, individuals who use Bridge Cards can redeem SNAP benefits to purchase more fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Their Bridge Card purchases are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20 with DUFB tokens, which can be used to buy Michigan-grown produce. For a complete list of participating markets and hours of operation, please visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org.
"Access to fresh, healthy food for low-income Michigan families and support for local farmers are serious concerns. Double Up Food Bucks has proven to be a highly successful solution because it’s a small incentive that has resulted in major changes in buying and eating habits, leading to healthier lifestyles,” said Dr. Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network. “New, exciting partnerships and an electronic mobile payment pilot project will enable us to take the program to the next level, reaching more communities and households in need.”
New in 2012
At the Flint Farmers’ Market and 12 markets in Kent County, FFN is launching a DUFB electronic mobile payment pilot program, which eliminates some administrative tasks and simplifies the shopping experience for consumers. Vendors have devices that can process Bridge Card and DUFB transactions right at their booths. The DUFB software application was developed by Flint-based firm Epic Technology Solutions, LLC, and the Kent County pilot is happening in partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Department of Human Services.
To expand the reach of DUFB in Detroit, Fair Food Network has established a partnership with the newly formed Detroit Community Markets (DCM). Through DCM, DUFB is now available at new markets in the city, as well as alternative distribution outlets such as mobile market trucks, Eastern Market Farm Stands and Gleaners’ Fresh Food Share program.
The DUFB program was officially launched in August 2010 at five participating farmers’ markets in Detroit, including Detroit Eastern Market. Today, DUFB has expanded throughout Michigan to more than 100 sites, potentially reaching hundreds of thousands of residents and benefitting hundreds of local farmers.
In 2011, farmers’ markets recorded more than $1.3 million in sales from Bridge Card benefits and DUFB combined – this success has garnered national acclaim for DUFB and special recognition by the United States Department of Agriculture.
As DUFB expands, more access to affordable, fresh food is helping Michigan families. Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan explains: “The Double Up Food Bucks partnership supports Michigan families working toward self-sufficiency. Double Up Food Bucks can help these families eat better and increase their purchasing power, which also allows them to play a larger role in Michigan’s economic growth.”
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About Double Up Food Bucks
Learn more about Double Up Food Bucks by visiting www.DoubleUpFoodBucks.org, viewing educational and promotional videos on the Fair Food Network You Tube Channel, following Fair Food Network on Facebook or Twitter @fairfoodnetwork, or by calling 1- 866-586-2796. 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.