Utahns Against Hunger and 19 farmers markets statewide are preparing to launch Double Up Food Bucks.
Double Up Food Bucks is an incentive program that provides farmers markets that accept food stamp benefits the means to match up to ten dollars when customers use their EBT card. These matched benefits, known as Double Up Food Bucks can only be used to purchase Utah grown fruits and vegetables or plants that produce food.
The purpose of the Double Up food Bucks program is to help low-income families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, to have additional resources to purchase fruits and vegetables.
Double Up Food Bucks will provide a match of up to $10.00 for SNAP customers to purchase additional produce at 19 farmers markets and farm stands across the state. Most of the participating markets are along the Wasatch Front, but markets in Logan, Roosevelt, Cedar City, Moab and St. George are also participating.
Gina Cornia, Executive Director of Utahns Against Hunger points out that Double Up Food Bucks is a win-win-win for everyone, “Over the last few years we’ve seen a decline in the number of SNAP clients overall, which has meant fewer SNAP shoppers at farmers markets. This program incentivizes those folks to return to their local markets and purchase Utah grown produce. It helps families increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, brings more income for Utah farmers and increases the number of people shopping at the farmers market. It has a great economic impact for everyone.”
The Double Up Food Bucks program is scheduled to operate from July 1st through October 31st. “We are confident that markets, farmers and SNAP customers are going to be as excited about this as we are. It is a great opportunity for Utah to have this resource”, said Cornia. Information on participating markets can be found at http://www.uah.org.