Why We Need Double Up
Too many families struggle to bring home the healthy food they need to thrive. Every year, Western North Carolina residents use SNAP to help put food on the table.
We're working towards a Western North Carolina where everyone has greater access to fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Double Up Food Bucks is a program of MountainWise. It matches EBT Card, or food stamp, dollars spent on fruits and vegetables (the daily matching amount varies by location).
This means more healthy food for families, more business for local farmers, and a boost for local economies. Everyone wins.
Double Up Food Bucks:
- Brings fruits, vegetables and herbs within reach of everyone.
- Creates new markets for Western North Carolina farmers, which puts more money in their pockets and strengthens local economies.
- Increases families' food dollars and supports better nutrition while building a fairer food system—from farm to fork.
Double Up is a Win for Everyone
With Double Up, families who need it most get the support to buy twice as much fruits and veggies, whether fresh strawberries at farmers markets or North Carolina-grown potatoes at grocery stores.
And the cherry on top: these purchases support local farmers and create more vibrant local economies.
People and Families
Double Up is used to buy thousands of dollars in fruits and vegetables. That's a lot of meals for a lot of people.
And those who used Double Up at farmers markets ate more fruits and vegetables, like apples, melons, cucumbers, and broccoli. We think that's just peachy.
Of farmers who participated in Double Up, 90% sold more fruits and vegetables, and 85% made more money.
With greater sales, some farmers were able to expand their production and even buy or lease new equipment—giving a particular boost to farmers just starting out.
To support area businesses and strengthen communities, buying more local produce is low-hanging fruit.
One dollar spent at a farmers market can generate $2.80 for a community’s economy. If more food purchases in Western North Carolina were shifted to local sources, it is estimated this shift would create many new jobs.
A Model for America
Western North Carolina program, national model. Double Up was piloted in Detroit in 2009, and soon became a national model. Today, Double Up is offered in more 900 locations in dozens of states.
A little goes a long way. As food assistance is the largest single expenditure in the federal agriculture budget, redirecting even a small percentage toward locally grown food has an enormous impact in local communities.
Fair Food Network developed the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program in Detroit Michigan in 2009, and after expanding the program to farmers’ markets, corner stores, grocery stores, and CSAs in 20 states have demonstrated results across the board: low-income shoppers access and eat more healthy food, local farmers gain new customers and sell more produce, and more food dollars stay in the local economy. For more information about the Fair Food Network, visit their website here.
For more information about the local DUFB program, contact Lauren Wood at LaurenW@mountainwise.org