Our co-op will be the first grocery store in Oregon to launch the healthy food incentive program Double Up Food Bucks starting this May. After success at farmer’s markets, the program is extending to a small number of grocery stores.
“Double Up Food Bucks puts more healthy food on the plates of low-income families, while supporting local growers,” said Astoria Co+op General Manager Matt Stanley. “We’re supporting our customers while helping grow a healthier community.”
Double Up matches the value of SNAP spent on fresh fruits and vegetables providing shoppers with credit for future produce purchases, up to $10 per shopping trip. SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
The Oregon Legislature approved $1.5 million in the 2019-2021 biennium budget to continue and expand Double Up. The Oregon Food Bank is administering the Double Up grocery pilot program in cooperation with the Fair Food Network and Farmers Market Fund.
“Double Up Food Bucks is proven to be a model that supports low-income families to bring home more fruits and vegetables, local growers to sell more produce, and more food dollars to stay in the local economy, not just in Oregon, but around the country. Expanding the program to retail outlets, like Astoria Co+op will further support local businesses and growers while providing low-income community members with year-round access to quality fruits and vegetables,” said Ryan Schoonover, Oregon Food Bank’s, Double Up Grocery Coordinator.
According to program leaders, only 11% of Oregonians consume enough fruit and vegetables for a healthy life. For the one in six Oregonians experiencing food insecurity, eating the recommended servings of produce is not affordable. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of many serious and chronic conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
If you have any questions about the program, contact Astoria Co+op Marketing Director Zetty Nemlowill at email@example.com.