Local Alert: The Double Up Food Bucks Program will be available at the Durango Farmers Market this year!
At Least 50 Partners Come Together to Make Double Up Food Bucks Colorado a Reality
Program Benefiting Low-Income Families is a Partnership Success
Press Release from: San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
ALAMOSA — June 14th 2016 — A statewide partnership led by LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Farmers Market Association, Cooking Matters-Colorado, and Boulder County Public Health has just been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant to launch Double Up Food Bucks Colorado.
“We believe that by coming together, we can make a bigger difference helping Coloradans overcome barriers to accessing healthy, affordable food,” stated San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition lead local partner Liza Marron. Other important partners include First Southwest Bank, the Alamosa Farmers Market, the Valley Food Coop, the South Fork Farmers Market, Saguache’s Fourth Street Food store and the San Luis Valley Cooking Matters Program.
The Double Up Food Bucks Colorado program expands the amount of fruits and vegetables recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) can purchase. Coloradans who receive food stamps are provided $1.41 per meal or $4.23 per day on average, which can make it challenging to purchase fruits and vegetables. With Double Up Food Bucks Colorado, SNAP recipients will receive up to $20 in Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables when they use their SNAP benefits at participating farmers markets or select retailers. SNAP benefits will be matched dollar for dollar to be put toward Colorado-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per visit.
First Southwest Bank provided match funds that will enable four San Luis Valley food distribution centers to participate in the launch of the Colorado Double Up program, the first of its kind in rural Colorado. “As a certified Community Development Financial Institution, we work to address critical public needs and develop vital community resources,” said CEO Kent Curtis. “First Southwest Bank has a long history of serving communities in need. We believe that Double Up Food Bucks will increase access to healthy, affordable food for the underserved in our communities as well as create additional economic opportunities for our local farmers.”
Close to 50 partners have come together to make Double Up Food Bucks Colorado a reality according to Wendy Peters Moschetti, LiveWell Colorado Director of Food Systems. “By working closely with our community and state agency partners, we hope to reach the 150,000 households who depend on SNAP in these 19 urban and rural counties,” added Moschetti.
While Colorado adults have the nation’s lowest obesity rate at 21.3 percent, adults with annual incomes below $10,000 have an obesity rate of 29.2 percent. In 2013, 86 percent of adult Coloradans did not meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.
The first year of Double Up Food Bucks Colorado will include reaching 30 farmers markets and at least five additional retailers in 19 counties across Colorado. The Double Up Food Bucks Colorado program also goes beyond farmers markets in Colorado through community-based urban agriculture projects with on-site marketplaces (including Community Supported Agriculture, food co-operatives, corner stores and urban agriculture marketplaces) located in low-income neighborhoods.
A list of partners participating in Double Up Food Bucks Colorado can be found here www.DoubleUpColorado.org.