June 26, 2014

Double Up on fruits and vegetables

Ann Arbor-based Fair Food Network has devised a way to get nutritious, farm-fresh products on the tables of area low-income families through its Double Up Food Bucks program. Thanks to a grant from Saginaw Community Foundation, the program, available at the Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market since 2011, was able to continue during 2013.

Under the program, when market customers use a federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits card to shop with participating vendors, the amount they spend is matched – up to $20 per visit – with Double Up credits. The credits, valid only on the purchase of Michigan-grown products, can be used to buy more food at the market.

“Double Up is all about building equity and fairness in local food systems,” says Fair Food Network president Oran Hesterman. “That means equitable access for everyone to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food; to good-paying jobs in the food industry; and to the land, water and means of production that smaller farms need to be in business.”

According to recent statistics, nearly 45,000 individuals in Saginaw County are recipients of SNAP benefits. The Double Up Food Bucks gives these individuals increased access to fresh Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. An estimated 12,500 pounds of fresh produce was purchased as part of the program at the Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market in 2013. That’s good news for area families looking to eat healthier and area farmers who sell their produce each week at the market.

Learn more about the Double Up Food Bucks program at doubleupfoodbucks.org.



2013 was another great year of making an impact in Saginaw County. Download a PDF and read more inspiring stories and see what is going on “behind-the-scenes” in our latest annual report.