Program Spotlight: Double Up Food Bucks

Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program provides incentives to encourage healthier choices for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, directly benefiting low-income families and local farmers. 

Program Goals

The program uses existing infrastructure (i.e. markets, produce, trucks, farm stands, food share programs, and the Michigan Bridge Card) to:

  • Improve access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities
  • Grow the local economy by supporting purchases from local farmers
  • Shift public policy so that federal nutrition assistance programs address health, hunger, and nutrition and support a sustainable food system

The Double Up Food Bucks program is a highly successful, scalable model that encourages low-income consumers to leverage their federal food assistance benefits to purchase healthy produce, simultaneously increasing the income of the region’s farmers and making a positive impact on the local food economy. In 2012, participating farmers’ markets recorded more than $1.9 million in sales from SNAP benefits and Double Up Food Bucks combined, with the money going directly in the pockets of Michigan growers and food businesses.

How Does it Work?

When SNAP recipients shop at a participating site, the amount that they spend on their SNAP Bridge Card is matched up to $20 per visit with Double Up Food Bucks, which can be used to purchase Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.

 History and Future Plans

Double Up Food Bucks began as a pilot project at five markets in Detroit in 2009.  Since that time, it has expanded throughout Michigan with over 90 markets, plus two food share programs, three mobile food trucks, and a network of farm stands in Detroit participating in 2013.  

Double Up Food Bucks is demonstrating that a small incentive can change eating habits, positively influence health and grow the economy. 

Who funds Double Up Food Bucks?

Double Up Food Bucks is generously supported by nearly 40 private and community foundations and corporations throughout Michigan and beyond, including:

  • Americana Foundation
  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
  • Bank of America
  • Battle Creek Community Foundation
  • Bay Area Community Foundation
  • Capital Region Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • C.S. Mott Foundation
  • Erb Family Foundation
  • Four County Community Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
  • The Jewish Fund
  • 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
  • Ruth Mott Foundation
  • Saginaw Community Foundation
  • Slemons Foundation
  • Toledo Community Foundation
  • United Way of Southeast Michigan
  • United Way of Greater Toledo
  •  University of Toledo
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Utopia Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Wholesome Wave
  • Woodcock Foundation 

Thank You to Our Partners

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