Our 5W Wednesday series highlights a variety of health care organizations, professionals and programs that keep our community healthy.
What is Double Up Food Bucks?
Double Up Food Bucks provides families receiving food assistance benefits with the means to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. It is a project of the Fair Food Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. The Fair Food Network works at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to provide access to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities.
Double Up Food Bucks was piloted in Detroit in 2009 and launched in Southeast Michigan in August 2010. Double Up Food Bucks tokens are now available at five markets in Detroit, four markets in Washtenaw County, and four markets in Battle Creek. Fair Food Network intends to launch Double Up Food Bucks in 50-60 farmers’ markets statewide in 2011–2012.
Who can use Double Up Food Bucks?
Anyone with a SNAP Bridge Card will receive Double Up Food Bucks when shopping at participating farmers’ markets. When a person eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) uses his or her SNAP Bridge Card to shop for food at a farmers’ market, the amount of money that he or she spends is matched with Double Up Food Bucks bonus tokens. The tokens can then be exchanged for Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.
Where can Double Up Food Bucks be used?
There are farmers’ markets in Detroit, Washtenaw County, and Battle Creek that participate in Double Up Food Bucks. See this map for a list of all participating farmers’ markets, including information on where the markets are located and the hours they are open.
Participating markets in Washtenaw County include:
- Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market
- Westside Farmers’ Market
- Ypsilanti Depot Town Farmers’ Market
- Downtown Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market
When is the program available?
Double Up Food Bucks will resume in May-June of 2011. For updates, check their website or call 734.213.3999 ext. 203 with questions.
Why is this an important project?
Double Up Food Bucks makes healthy food more accessible to low-income urban families, while creating new sales opportunities for farmers.
Southeastern Michigan boasts an extensive network of high-quality growers who sell their produce at farmers’ markets in the Detroit area. Double Up Food Bucks will help to increase growers’ sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in a sustainable, dependable way.
Programs like Double Up Food Bucks have results in positive healthy changes in the buying and eating habits of urban low-income families. For the 280,000 Detroit residents eligible to receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the Double Up Food Bucks program provides a way for them to get more fresh fruits and vegetables without paying for more. Thousands of Detroit-area residents use their food assistance benefits to purchase fresh food at farmers’ markets every week.