Double Your Dollar project doubles food buying power for SNAP, Sr-FMNP participants
- The 2018 Double Your Dollar program has been launched for NWA farmers markets
- The program doubles the buying power for nearly 6,000 SNAP and Sr-FMNP participants since 2012
- SNAP and Sr-FMNP participants get even more value at farmers markets through “Cooking Local” and Area Agency on Aging programs
Related website: http://marketsnap.uark.edu
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program can double their buying power at northwest Arkansas farmers markets through the 2018 Double Your Dollar project.
The Double Your Dollar project was launched by the Northwest Arkansas Farmers Market Alliance and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in 2012, said Heather Friedrich, Division of Agriculture program manager and NWAFMA facilitator.
Through the program, market managers provide coupons for up to a one-to-one dollar match to SNAP and Sr-FMNP participants who use their program funds for food purchases at participating farmers markets. The coupons can be used like cash at that market to purchase additional food items including fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, jams, jellies, breads and food producing plants, Friedrich said.
No change can be given for the coupons, Friedrich said, and some program restrictions apply for specific items that can be purchased with SNAP and Sr-FMNP funds.
The Double Your Dollar program is funded annually through grants from the Walmart Foundation, said Heather Friedrich, Division of Agriculture program manager and NWAFMA facilitator. The Walmart Foundation has funded the program since 2012, reaching nearly 6,000 SNAP and Sr-FMNP partcipants and more than 200 farmers’ market vendors.
“Our goal is to support programs that help break down barriers preventing access to healthier, nutritious food,” said Erin Hogue, senior manager of the Walmart Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Giving Program. “It’s critical to provide access to food benefits in locations where people gather, especially for families and seniors.”
“We are grateful for the generosity of the Walmart Foundation. Without their support the Double Your Dollar project would not have the tremendous impact for so many people,” Friedrich said.
Friedrich also expressed gratitude to the Jones Center in Springdale for serving as a fiscal partner for the markets.
Teresa Luney, SNAP education program assistant for the Washington County Extension Office, said SNAP recipients can receive an extra $25 in Double Your Dollar coupons if they attend a 30-minute “Cooking Local” demonstration at a participating farmers market. Participants must present their SNAP card when they sign in for the demonstration.
Luney said the next “Cooking Local” demonstration will be held July 21 at the Fayetteville Farmers Market. The demonstrations will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ana Goff, Washington County Extension family and consumer sciences agent, said the northwest Arkansas Area Agency on Aging has also distributed $50 coupon books to low-income seniors that they can use at local farmers markets.
The program is funded with a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and the coupons were distributed in May through area senior centers.
SNAP and Sr-FMNP are U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to assist food-insecure persons, Friedrich said. The Sr-FMNP is administered locally through the Northwest Arkansas Area Agency on Aging.
Participating farmers markets include Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Gravette, Green Fork (Fayetteville), Rogers, Downtown Rogers, Siloam Springs, Springdale and Downtown Springdale.
Information on market times, locations and events can be found online: http://marketsnap.uark.edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Fred Miller
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Fred Miller
U of A Division of Agriculture