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Press Release – Double Up Food Bucks Coming to Markets

May 18, 2011

From a Fair Food Matters press release….

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is coming to three Kalamazoo farmers’ markets, beginning on the first market day in June.

DUFB, an initiative of the Fair Food Network (not affiliated with Fair Food Matters), encourages healthier eating and provides greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables for Michigan families eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Fair Food Matters will implement the program in Kalamazoo

For every $2 spent on fresh food at participating farmers’ markets, Bridge Card holders will receive $2 worth of DUFB bonus tokens (up to $20 in tokens per visit) which can be used to buy fresh Michigan-grown produce.

Double Up Food Bucks in Kalamazoo is funded by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Open Society Foundations. Fair Food Network is seeking funding to continue the program in Kalamazoo through 2013.

Since the program started as a pilot in the fall of 2009 at Detroit’s Eastern Market, it has grown to 42 sites around the state thanks to generous funding from more than 25 local, state and national foundations. DUFB has proven highly successful: from August to October 2010, families used federal food assistance dollars and matching DUFB tokens to purchase $203,451 worth of locally grown produce from 15 farmers’ markets, and those dollars flowed directly to small farmers and their rural communities.

“Our goal is to help Michigan families in need get twice as much food while stretching their grocery budgets in a healthy direction, and by all accounts it appears that we are starting to accomplish this objective,” said Dr. Oran Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network. “And the strong collaboration of so many supporters has enabled us to grow the program throughout Michigan on a faster timetable than we had anticipated.”

In Kalamazoo, three farmers’ markets will participate in Double Up Food Bucks. Those markets and DUFB dates are:

  • Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market (1204 Bank Street): Saturdays beginning June 4; 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • People’s Food Co-op 100-Mile Market (507 Harrison Street): Wednesdays beginning June 15; 3-7 p.m.
  • Douglass Farmers’ Market (1000 West Paterson Street): Tuesday, June 28, July 26, August 23; 3-7 p.m.

For information on getting a Bridge Card, please contact the Michigan Department of Human Services (1-888-MIBRIDG or www.michigan.gov/mibridges), or contact Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes at (269) 366-7236. For more information on Double Up Food Bucks, please visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org.

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