BROOKINGS, S.D. - To improve access and encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables, SDSU Extension and NDSU Extension have launched Double Up Dakota Bucks at the farmers markets in Lake Andes, South Dakota and Rolla, North Dakota.
“Double Up Dakota Bucks is a national model for healthy food incentives,” said Jennifer Folliard, SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist.
Developed by Fair Food Network, Double Up Dakota Bucks matches the value of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, spent on fruits and vegetables.
“Double Up Dakota Bucks is a win/win/win. Low-income families bring home more healthy food, area farmers gain new customers and make more money and more food dollars stay in the local economy,” Folliard explained.
SDSU Extension received grant funds for the Double Up Dakota Bucks program from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program which was included in the 2014 Farm Bill. The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program provides matching grants to incentive programs. It has helped fuel the growth of SNAP incentive programming nationwide, leveraging additional public and private support.
In addition to increasing family access to more fruits and vegetables, Double Up Dakota Bucks results in many more benefits including:
- Integration of federal nutrition and education programs
- Support for long-term dietary improvements
- Increases in farmer sales and profits
- A gateway for beginning farmers
- New direct and wholesale marketing opportunities
- Stimulates farm expansion in acreage and crop diversity
- Stimulates local economies
- Demonstrates how public nutrition assistance programs can address hunger, health and local food systems
- Links rural and urban communities in resilient economic growth
How to participate?
The Lake Andes farmers market, sponsored by the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council, runs every Tuesday from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. through the end of August. SNAP/EBT is welcome at the market, and for every SNAP dollar participants spend, they will receive a dollar incentive to purchase more fruit and vegetables, up to $10 each visit to the market.
Lena’s Fresh Farmers Market in Rolla, North Dakota runs every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This is the first season that SNAP will be accepted, and for every SNAP dollar spent, participants will receive a dollar incentive to purchase more fruit and vegetables, up to $10 each time.