USDA Announces More than $12 Million to Expand Double Up Food Bucks Across Michigan
Fair Food Network’s incentive program a win for Michigan farmers, families
8 November 2019 | ANN ARBOR, Mich.—USDA announced $12.5 million in new federal support to Fair Food Network to expand its Double Up Food Bucks nutrition incentive program across Michigan. Double Up matches SNAP dollars spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. (SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.)
“Double Up is a creative solution that provides real economic benefits for Michigan farmers while improving healthy food access for our lowest income families,” said Kate Krauss, executive director and chief operating officer of Fair Food Network, which first launched Double Up at a handful of Detroit farmers markets in 2009.
Double Up provides multiple benefits: it’s a win for state farmers selling more produce; a win for low-income families putting more healthy food on their tables; and a win for area businesses as more food dollars circulate in the local economy.
Today Double Up is available at more than 250 grocery stores and farmers markets throughout Michigan. Since 2009, it has stimulated more than $21 million in combined SNAP and Double Up sales—dollars directly benefiting Michigan farmers and local businesses—bringing 13.5 million pounds of healthy food to Michigan families. More than 25 states across the nation now offer their own Double Up programs modeled after Michigan’s flagship effort
This four-year federal grant is part of the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, or GusNIP (formerly known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive or FINI program), which was inspired by Double Up’s proven track record of impact for farmers and families in Michigan and across the nation.
USDA’s investment requires state and private matching funds, including $3 million provided in the State of Michigan’s 2020 budget. Together this public-private partnership is supporting an ambitious Michigan expansion. Specifically, it aims to bring Double Up to every county in the state and deepen participation from 13 to 30 percent of eligible families over the next four years.
“Double Up Food Bucks has been a unifier from the start,” said Oran Hesterman, founder and CEO of Fair Food Network. “It brings together farmers and families. It brings together communities. And as we’ve seen again this year, it brings together legislators from both sides of the aisle. We look forward to continuing and deepening our partnerships across Michigan.”
Federal and state funding joins philanthropic support provided over the years by the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Bank of America, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Frey Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Newman’s Own Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Osprey Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Wege Foundation, and Woodcock Foundation, among others.
Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit whose mission is to grow community health and wealth through food. A decade in, our work is connecting people to the power of food to improve health, ignite local economies, and open opportunities for all — especially in our most underserved communities. Dig deeper at fairfoodnetwork.org or follow Fair Food Network @FairFoodNetwork on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram