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Community Advocacy Organization

"15 Years of Healthy Food: Fair Food Network's Double Up Bucks"

Double Up Food Bucks Awareness Week’s statewide celebration to be held June 10–16, with events in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint

Healthy Food

 

DETROIT—(June 5, 2024)— Fair Food Network is launching its inaugural Double Up Food Bucks Awareness Week, June 10–16, to celebrate its 15th year running the Double Up Food Bucks program in Michigan. Double Up provides Michigan households using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) a dollar-for-dollar match — up to $20 a day — on their purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at more than 230 participating grocery stores and farmers markets across the state.


The awareness week will elevate the importance of Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables as a key component of the program. The Double Up program’s unique emphasis on helping to connect communities with locally grown produce helps Michigan families eat healthier, local retailers sell more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables, and farmers sell more of the food they grow.“Every year, 1 million Michiganders use SNAP to help put food on the table. While these dollars are vital for closing the food insecurity gap, families using SNAP still struggle to afford the fresh fruits and vegetables they need to stay healthy,” said Fair Food Network CEO Kate Krauss. “Our Double Up program matches SNAP dollars spent on fruits and vegetables so that people with low incomes can literally double the amount of nutritious food they buy.


”Since 2009, 45 million pounds of healthy food have been purchased by Michigan families at more than 230 Double Up locations in Michigan, supporting an estimated 800 local farmers and representing a significant boost to local economies: One dollar spent at a farmers market can generate $1.70 for a community’s economy, while every dollar spent at a local grocery store can generate $1.40. (View a list of participating Michigan locations.)


Sharon Ostrowski, owner of SharKar Farm in St. Clair County, said her SNAP customers are thrilled to get extra fresh produce with Double Up Food Bucks.“In the spring, [shoppers] use Double Up to plant their own gardens with vegetable starts, herbs, and berry bushes,” she said. “I believe it is very important to support our Michigan farmers, and Double Up Food Bucks definitely helps. Especially in today’s economy when everybody has to pinch pennies, it’s great that they’re getting the freshest produce for their money.”


As part of the Double Up Food Bucks Awareness Week celebration, Fair Food Network will be holding special events at the Fulton Street Market in Grand Rapids on June 14 and the Flint Farmers Market in Flint, and the Eastern Market in Detroit on June 15. The events will feature fun activities and a raffle of a Detroit Lions jersey signed by Aidan Hutchinson. See additional details.


Double Up Food Bucks was first launched in Detroit in 2009 by Fair Food Network. Since then, the program has become a national model for nutrition incentives and has been adopted by partners in 29 other states to improve healthy food access and boost local economies in their communities. In addition to running the Double Up Food Bucks program in Michigan, Fair Food Network provides national technical assistance on behalf of the Nutrition Incentive Hub.


Led by the Center for Nutrition and Health Impact in partnership with Fair Food Network and the University of California, San Francisco, the Nutrition Incentive Hub works with hundreds of nutrition incentive and produce prescription practitioners across states, U.S. territories, and tribal nations to evaluate, innovate, and scale their work to reach more people.


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