PORTLAND — A coalition led by Farmers Market Fund announced on July 3 the award of a $1.5 million state appropriation to expand the SNAP Double Up Food Bucks program.
The Double Up Food Bucks program helps SNAP participants access fresh fruits and vegetables. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets, Double Up Food Bucks recipients will now receive an additional dollar to spend on Oregon-grown fruits and veggies. Over 600,000 Oregonians, more than a third of whom are children, currently receive SNAP benefits.
“We’re delighted the state of Oregon has chosen to invest in Double Up Food Bucks,” said Molly Notarianni, Farmers Market Fund program director. “It’s a triple win. These state funds will uplift Oregon farmers, families, and local economies.”
For nearly a decade, Farmers Market Fund has worked to connect SNAP participants with local produce. Additionally, they’ve partnered with Oregon Food Bank since 2015 to offer DUFB at 53 farmers markets and 31 farm shares across 16 Oregon counties. Surveys of participants demonstrate the program’s produce incentives work.
“I can hardly afford to feed my growing kids, and junk food is more affordable than healthy foods these days,” explained one shopper. “Thanks to Double Up, I have the opportunity to expose my kids to fresh, local healthy food.”
Despite Double Up’s success, SNAP matching programs currently exist in only half of Oregon’s farmers markets. This leaves many farmers markets, especially those in rural areas, without any SNAP incentive program. The appropriation will support the expansion of DUFB to most farmers markets in the state, as well as new farm share sites. The program will also expand into select grocery outlets, allowing for greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables in areas of the state not currently served by farmers markets.
”Oregon’s farmers markets are very committed to working towards being accessible to customers of all income levels,” said Kelly Crane, executive director, Oregon Farmers Markets Association. “This is an important step in that direction.”
“Investing in the Double-Up Food Bucks Programs is a win-win for SNAP recipients, farmers, and Oregon’s economy,” said Spencer Masterson, associate director of Partnerships & Programs for the Oregon Food Bank. “When one in eight Oregonians are facing food insecurity, we support all efforts to put dollars in people’s hands that give them access to fresh, healthy food options.”
The Double Up coalition includes the Farmers Market Fund, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Farmers Markets Association, the Portland Area CSA Coalition and the American Heart Association — organizations that approach ending hunger, improving health and supporting farmers from complementary perspectives.
About Farmers Market Fund
Founded in 2012 as the charitable companion to Portland Farmers Market, Farmers Market Fund makes healthy, locally grown food accessible to underserved Oregonians. By doubling SNAP benefits at farmers markets across Oregon, Farmers Market Fund helps families bring home more fruits and vegetables, give small farmers an economic boost, and keeps food dollars in our local economy. For more information, visit farmersmarketfund.org
About Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes ... because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, that communities thrive when people are nourished, and that everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of 260,000 people a month through a food distribution network of 21 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at oregon food bank.org