LANSING–On Monday, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, announced more than $3.5 million in new federal funding to expand the successful Double Up Food Bucks program in Michigan.
The funds come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program, which Stabenow authored in the 2014 Farm Bill. The grant will be matched by private funding, totaling to $7 million in new investments.
“The Double Up Food Bucks initiative has been a success for both farmers and families,” said Stabenow. “In the 2014 Farm Bill, I fought to include innovative opportunities like this to improve access to healthy, local food in communities and create new ways for Michigan farmers to sell their products locally.”
Double Up Food Bucks makes it easier for low-income families in Michigan to eat healthy by doubling the value of food assistance dollars spent on fresh, regionally grown produce. This has helped families stretch their food budget while supporting Michigan farmers and rural communities.
“Support for produce incentives has energized the field with direct benefits for low-income families and American farmers,” said Dr. Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of Fair Food Network. “Senator Stabenow has been a steadfast champion of this work, which today is garnering support from across the political spectrum. New funding is helping to expand and continue innovating the Double Up Food Bucks produce incentive programs in Michigan, Colorado, and Western New York.”
Fair Food Network will utilize the new funds to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program to more farmers market and grocery stores throughout Michigan. Additionally, funding will be used to expand new technology to make purchases easier for families and farmers, and expand year-round rather than seasonal programming at farmers markets and groceries.