Senator Stabenow Announces More Than $5 Million to Expand Double Up Food Bucks throughout Michigan

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced more than $5.0 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 Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program which Stabenow authored in her 2014 Farm Bill. The grant will be matched by private funding totaling more than $10.4 million in new investments.

"The Double Up program helps families stretch their food budget to buy fruits and vegetables while supporting Michigan's farmers," said Stabenow. "It's this type of innovative partnership that I fought to include in the Farm Bill. I am so proud that Michigan is leading the way. With this new support, the Fair Food Network will continue their great work and I look forward to working closely with them as they get the Double Up program in more farmers markets and grocery stores throughout the state."

Building on the success of Michigan's Double Up Food Bucks program - a project of the Fair Food Network - Stabenow fought to include $100 million in the Farm Bill to support the new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program which helps ensure all families have access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Double Up Food Bucks makes it easier for low-income families in Michigan to eat healthy by matching one-to-one the value of food assistance dollars spent on fresh, regionally grown produce at farmers markets and grocery stores. This innovative program helps families stretch their food budget while supporting Michigan farmers and rural communities.

"We've proven that Double Up successfully boosts family nutrition and farmer earnings," said Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network, and a former farmer, agronomist, and leader in philanthropy. "With this funding, we'll reach even more people, supporting healthy food environments and resilient rural and urban communities. I thank Sen. Stabenow for her leadership and for getting support for this program in the Farm Bill."

Fair Food Network will utilize the new funds to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program to more farmers market and grocery stores throughout Michigan. Additionally, funding will be used to expand new technology to make purchases easier for families and farmers, and pilot year-round rather than seasonal programming at farmers markets and groceries.