Double Up Food Bucks Put More Dollars in Arizona Families’ Farmers’ Pockets

By Pinnacle Prevention Team Members: It might be easy for an average Arizona family to regularly purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in the neighborhood grocery store or their local farmers market. But what about disadvantaged Arizonans financially strapped and living in what’s known as a food desert? One organization is trying to change that.

Both farmer and customer benefit from the Double Up Food Bucks.

Local nonprofit Pinnacle Prevention works to help everyone access nutritious food regardless of where they live and one’s financial ability. The organization works with partners and growers using Double Up Food Bucks Arizona, a nutrition-based, federally-funded program that helps people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables, supports local, retail Arizona farmers. The program is part of the Fair Food Network's national Double Up program, which doubles the value of SNAP benefits, formally known as food stamps, used at farmers markets across the country.

How it Works

When someone uses their SNAP Quest Card at participating Arizona farmers markets, every dollar they spend is matched with an extra dollar to spend on more Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per day.

The Double Up Food Bucks program started as a small pilot in Detroit, and has expanded to hundreds of markets across the country in just five years. Michigan farmers and vendors have earned over five million dollars in those five years through SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks sales. These participating farmers have also reported selling more produce, making more money, and expanding production because of Double Up Food Bucks sales.

The Impact to Arizona Farmers

The program has successfully created these ripple effects across communities in each state where it's implemented, and it's quickly growing in Arizona. Pinnacle Prevention and their partners want to help Arizona growers and farms thrive with the help of this program. As a result, appoximately $20,000 has directly benefited farmers so far in the first 6 months.

The Double Up Food Bucks program is currently available at 12 Arizona farmers markets, four farm stands and 34 Fresh Express Mobile Market sites across the state. Between July and December 2016, Arizona families brought home more than $5,000 worth of Arizona-grown produce purchased with Double Up Food Bucks. Double Up sales at Arizona markets for this year have already surpassed that number.

How to Get Involved

It’s easy to get involved and experience the benefits of Double Up Food Bucks. Contact Pinnacle Prevention to learn how to implement Double Up Food Bucks at your market.

For families, visit www.doubleupfoodbucksarizona.org to find participating farmers markets, and to keep up with our latest news through our blog. To sign up for our quarterly newsletter, click here.

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