Needy families are taking home more nutritious food while farmers are taking home more money thanks to a program that doubles the buying power of people on food assistance.
Double Up Food Bucks allows SNAP benefits — formerly called “food stamps” — to be used at 150 farmers markets across Michigan, packing $40 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables into every $20 purchase.
Since the incentive program started in 2009, sales at Michigan farmers markets have more than quadrupled. And in just two Ypsilanti, Michigan farmers markets, SNAP purchases went from just $378 in all of 2006 — the first year they accepted SNAP payments — to $39,000 last year from SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks.
The U.S. Agriculture Department is promoting more programsaround the country run by groups like Food Fair Network and Wholesome Wave. Check out their websites for locations.
Related article: My Food Stamps Story