Senator Stabenow Announces More Than $12 Million to Expand Double Up Food Bucks throughout MichiganThursday, November 07, 2019
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $12.5 million in new federal funding to expand Double Up Food Bucks in Michigan. The grant was funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, which Stabenow expanded and made permanent in the 2018 Farm Bill.
"Double Up Food Bucks helps families in Michigan purchase more fruits and vegetables while supporting Michigan's farmers," said Senator Stabenow. "This new support will help the Fair Food Network connect families in every county in Michigan with affordable, healthy food."
Michigan's Double Up Food Bucks program is a project of the Fair Food Network that doubles the value of food assistance dollars spent on locally grown produce at farmers markets and grocery stores. Modeling the success of Double Up Bucks, Senator Stabenow created a nutrition incentives program in the 2014 Farm Bill to fund similar projects all across the country. In the 2018 Farm Bill, she expanded access to healthy food by securing permanent funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, which will make fruits and vegetables more accessible and affordable for families for years to come.
“Within a decade, nutrition incentives have grown from a handful of pilots to a permanent part of the Farm Bill with programs in all 50 states,” said Oran Hesterman, founder and CEO of Fair Food Network, which pioneered the Double Up Food Bucks program that is now in 27 states. “Senator Stabenow has been a steadfast champion of nutrition incentives since day one having seen first-hand their benefits for families, farmers, and local economies.”
Fair Food Network will use the new funds to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program to more farmers markets and grocery stores throughout Michigan. The project will more than double participation in the Double Up program from 13% to 30% of SNAP households by 2023 and expand it to every county in the state.
As national leaders in healthy food access, Fair Food Network has been selected as a partner in establishing the new Center for Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation and Reporting, which will provide training resources for incentive programs across the country.