Program allows SNAP participants to double fruits, vegetables
Nebraska Extension is partnering with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, CHI Health and Children's Hospital and Medical Center to double the value of federal nutrition benefits in Lincoln through the Double Up Food Bucks program.
Three farmers' markets and one grocery store will provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants the opportunity to turn $20 of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into $40 worth each day. The program runs through May 31, 2018.
The Old Cheney Road Farmers' Market, Fallbrook Farmers' Market, Community Crops Veggie Van and Leon's Gourmet Grocer are participating in the program. At the farmers' markets, Electronic Benefits Transfer cards can be swiped at the market manager's booth and purchases will be doubled for free. At the grocery store, Double Up coupons will be given to be used during the next shopping trip.
"Double Up Food Bucks is a win-win-win for Nebraska," said Morgan Hartline, assistant extension educator for SNAP Education. "Low-income individuals get the opportunity to purchase more healthy foods, farmers and grocers gain new customers, thereby making more money, and food dollars stay within the local economy."
The Double Up program began at five farmers markets in Detroit in 2009 and has since grown to more than 150 sites. It expanded to grocery stores in 2013.
To further educate and benefit SNAP participants and the community, Nebraska Extension is providing free nutrition education, food demonstrations and recipes at all participating locations. Topics will include how to choose, store and prepare produce to reduce food waste.
SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program, helps low-income people buy food. It provides nutrition assistance to eligible individuals and families through an EBT card.
"SNAP is the nation's first line of defense against hunger," Hartline said. "Funds are distributed once per month in Nebraska, and amounts are determined based on many factors, including income, disability and family size."
For more information on Double Up Food Bucks in Nebraska, click here.