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Coalition receives $4.2 million from state to expand ‘Double Up Food Bucks’ program for SNAP shoppers

Double Up Food Bucks

 PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A coalition led by Farmers Market Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to making healthy, locally grown food accessible to underserved Oregonians, has received a $4.2 million state appropriation to expand a produce incentive program for shoppers using SNAP called Double Up Food Bucks.

The Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program helps those with SNAP (formerly food stamps) access fresh fruits and vegetables they may not otherwise be able to afford. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets, DUFB participants receive an additional dollar to spend on Oregon-grown fruits and veggies, up to $20 per day. Over 680,000 Oregonians - more than a third of them children - currently participate in SNAP. 

This represents the third state appropriation Double Up Food Bucks has received; the first was in 2019. The state appropriation in 2021 allowed Farmers Market Fund to boost the daily match amount from $10 to $20 per day for almost all participating farmers markets in the state. Continued funding from the state means that this $20 match will be easier to continue. 

“We are delighted that the state of Oregon has continued to invest in Double Up,” says Rachael Ward, Farmers Market Fund’s Executive Director. “This latest appropriation was included in the current service level budget, which is a first for us. We hope this means we can rely on a sustainable source of state funding for future bienniums.”

For over a decade, Farmers Market Fund has worked to connect shoppers using SNAP with local produce. Currently, DUFB is offered at 88 farmers markets, 65 CSA farms, and over 30 small grocery stores. Surveys of participants demonstrate that the program's incentives work. National studies show that shoppers using DUFB eat more fruits and vegetables than the average American.

“This program seriously changes my quality of life when it is available. Being able to get the $20 match makes a DRASTIC difference in my financial stability,” explained one shopper. “I am able to get all the produce I need for a week. Being able to connect to my food sources is extremely impactful to me.” 

Despite Double Up’s success, SNAP matching programs currently exist at only 73% of Oregon’s farmers markets. This leaves many farmers markets – especially those in rural areas - without any SNAP incentive program. This $4.2 million appropriation will support the expansion of DUFB to more farmers markets across the state, as well as continued growth in CSAs and independently owned grocery stores. 

Clatskanie Farmers Market reports, “This is such a valuable program in my small rural community where many families are food insecure. Many thanks to all at FMF who make it possible. It definitely requires a lot of administrative time but in my opinion, it is absolutely worth it!”

Equally exciting is the opportunity to continue to grow the successful program in select grocery stores.  Oregon Food Bank partners with grocery stores to offer the DUFB program and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in areas of the state that are not currently served by farmers markets. Many Oregonians experiencing hunger have limited access to fresh produce, which is vital for overall health. People are best positioned to access healthy options when they are convenient, affordable, and culturally resonant. The Double Up program does this by increasing purchasing power and supporting everyone’s right to choose what they eat.  

“At a time when so many Oregonians are struggling to make ends meet, this significant expansion of ‘Double Up’ in grocery stores will help thousands of our neighbors access the healthy foods they want and need,” shared Diadira Pedro-Xuncax, Oregon Food Bank Double Up Food Bucks Coordinator. “Today, 1 in 5 people face hunger in communities throughout the state, with communities of color hit especially hard. We’re excited to support efforts to expand ‘Double Up’ to rural communities and include more locally-owned businesses that offer culturally-specific foods.”

In addition to farmers markets and grocery stores, the DUFB program is also offered for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm shares through a partnership with Pacific Northwest CSA Coalition (PNWCSA). CSA is a unique economic model that benefits local farmers directly. Farmers place great value on being able to feed all members of their community, particularly those that need nutrient-dense food the most. Double Up Food Bucks for CSA helps people connect with their farmers to build a mutually supportive community around local food. Each year, the number of farms accepting SNAP and DUFB has grown by over 10%, and now there are farms all over the state that participate. The continued funding for DUFB will help PNWCSA to partner with even more farms. 

“Double Up Food Bucks has had a profound impact on participation in CSA,” says Holly Hutchason, Executive Director of PNWCSA. “Since 2019, the number of families purchasing CSA shares with SNAP and DUFB has increased 270%. That’s over 1,500 more people that have fresh, local, healthy vegetables in their refrigerators all season long.”

The Double Up coalition also includes the Oregon Farmers Markets Association, and the American Heart Association: organizations that approach ending hunger, improving health, and supporting farmers from complementary perspectives. 

"Eighty percent of all heart disease is preventable. Taking control of your health can be as simple as adopting a healthy diet,” says Dr. Nandita Gupta, Board President of the American Heart Association of Oregon, “At the American Heart Association, we take pride in collaborating with others to make a positive change. Together we seek to increase the accessibility of fruits and vegetables, especially for those who would benefit the most from incorporating these nutritious choices into their diet."

The coalition initially introduced HB 2728, requesting $8 million for Double Up. As the legislative session slowed due to multiple Senate walkouts, HB 2728 was abandoned and the funding request was added to the current service level budget, within Self Sufficiency programs. In a session where legislators were forced to make tough decisions regarding the state’s budget, receiving half of the original $8 million request is a huge victory!

Double Up Food Bucks is a triple win: families eat more fresh produce, farmers reach more customers without sacrificing their profits, and local economies are boosted by federal dollars staying local. 

Learn more about Double Up Food Bucks at  

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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