Double Up Food Bucks program stretches produce food dollars statewide

The DUFB program benefits both income-eligible buyers and the pockets of local Michigan growers.

Farmers markets across Michigan are making it easier to purchase fresh produce through a program called Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB). The Double Up Food Bucks Program allows participants to stretch their food dollar further, purchase more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables, try produce that might be different , change eating and diet habits and put more dollars directly into the hands of Michigan farmers.

This statewide initiative puts families receiving federal food assistance in direct contact with Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. The program benefits both income-eligible buyers and the pockets of local growers. This program enables extra buying power for the market of healthier food out into the community.

Double Up Food Bucks began in 2009 as a pilot program and partnership between the Eastern Market Corporation and the Ann Arbor-based Fair Food Network. The program, part of the Michigan-based nonprofit Fair Food Network, gives low-income families a chance to buy twice the fresh-farm food they would normally be able to buy at local farmers markets.  Vendors match dollar for dollar EBT card users’ purchases up to $20. If a purchase is made in the amount of a dollar, a customer will receive an additional dollar’s worth of produce.

Starting this year, DUFB will enter its first market season as a statewide program. Forty-six open farmer’s markets across Michigan will participate, including eight in the Detroit area.

Last year, the program ran from August to October. Bridge Card tokens are unique to individual farmer’s markets, but Double Up Food Bucks are taken at all participating farmers markets and good for produce from Michigan farmers only.

The DUFB program is funded by a consortium of private foundations, including the Open Society Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, as well as local partners including Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Detroit and the United Way of Southeast Michigan. Federal funding is also provided through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) by way of the SNAP/Education program and the Michigan Nutrition Network, among others.

Visit the Double Up Food Bucks website, call toll-free 1-866-586-2796 or just visit your favorite market starting in June!

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