Double Up Food Bucks program to expand fresh food access now underway across Michigan

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    Double Up Food Bucks, the successful program designed by Fair Food Network both to expand access to healthy food for low-income Michigan residents and to support Michigan farmers, is now underway for a fourth season.

    Double Up Food Bucks doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits—also known as SNAP, or food stamps—when used for fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables at nearly 100 farmers’ markets across Michigan.

    Consumers can see a map of participating markets and watch a video of how the program works at

    This year, Fair Food Network has also launched an initiative to make Double Up Food Bucks available at three full-service grocery stores in Detroit: Metro Foodland, Mike’s Fresh Market on Gratiot and Honey Bee Market.

    “Double Up Food Bucks has a strong record of success, and the grocery pilot will expand that impact,” said Fair Food Network President and CEO Oran Hesterman. “By reaching shoppers in grocery stores, we’re continuing to build the model for a scalable program”

    In the grocery pilot, SNAP recipients who spend at least $10 on produce items using a Michigan Bridge Card will get a Double Up Food Bucks Reward Card good for another $10 of Michigan-grown produce.

    Also new this year, Kent County farmers’ markets will use mobile technology that allows vendors to process SNAP benefits electronically. That means SNAP customers can use their Michigan Bridge cards to participate in Double Up Food Bucks directly with individual farmers rather than first obtaining Double Up tokens from a central booth.

    “The Kent County initiative makes Double Up Food Bucks easier for both consumers and vendors,” Hesterman said. “Our hope is that the innovations we pioneer in Michigan will one day help vulnerable families across the nation.”

    Double Up Food Bucks began in 2009 at five farmers’ markets in Detroit. Customers have since visited scores of participating markets over 100,000 times, spending about $3.5 million in combined SNAP benefits and incentive dollars for fresh, healthful foods from local producers. Currently, 43 percent of farmers’ markets in Michigan are authorized to accept SNAP benefits.

    Double Up Food Bucks is supported by nearly 50 funders, including:

    Americana Foundation
    Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
    Bank of America
    Battle Creek Community Foundation
    Bay Area Community Foundation
    Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department
    C.S. Mott Foundation
    Capital Region Community Foundation
    Charter One Foundation
    Chelsea Community Foundation
    Community Foundation for Muskegon County
    Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
    Erb Family Foundation
    Four County Community Foundation
    Grand Rapids Community Foundation
    Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
    Jackson County Community Foundation
    John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
    Kresge Foundation
    Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
    McGregor Fund
    Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
    Michigan Department of Human Services
    Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation
    New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
    Newman’s Own Foundation
    Open Society Foundations
    Osprey Foundation
    Panta Rhea
    R.E. Olds Foundation
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Ruth Mott Foundation
    Saginaw Community Foundation
    Slemons Foundation
    The Jewish Fund
    Toledo Community Foundation
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    United Way of Greater Toledo
    United Way of Southeast Michigan
    University of Toledo
    Uplift Solutions
    Utopia Foundation
    Village of Dundee
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    Whole Foods Market
    Wholesome Wave
    Woodcock Foundation

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