At least 50 partners come together to make Double Up Food Bucks Colorado a reality
Program benefitting low-income families is a partnership success
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – A statewide partnership led by LiveWell Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Farmers Market Association, Cooking Matters-Colorado, and Boulder County Public Health has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant to launch Double Up Food Bucks Colorado.
July 12, 2016
“Double Up Food Bucks provides an exciting opportunity for Garfield County Department of Human Services’ SNAP recipients to stretch their benefits and improve their wellbeing,” said Mary Baydarian, director of Garfield County Department of Human Services. “We are also hopeful that Double Up Food Bucks will be an incentive for Garfield County residents who are eligible, but not yet enrolled, to apply for SNAP benefits.”
The Double Up Food Bucks Colorado program expands the amount of fruits and vegetables recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) can purchase. Coloradans who receive food stamps are provided $1.41 per meal or $4.23 per day on average, which can make it challenging to purchase fruits and vegetables. With Double Up Food Bucks Colorado, SNAP recipients will receive up to $20 in Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables when they use their SNAP benefits at participating farmers markets, or select retailers. SNAP benefits will be matched dollar for dollar to be put toward Colorado-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $20 per visit.
“Close to 50 partners have come together to make Double Up Food Bucks Colorado a reality,” said Wendy Peters Moschetti, LiveWell Colorado Director of Food Systems. “By working closely with our community and state agency partners, we hope to reach the 150,000 households who depend on SNAP in these 19 urban and rural counties,” added Moschetti.
While Colorado adults have the nation’s lowest obesity rate at 21.3 percent, adults with annual incomes below $10,000 have an obesity rate of 29.2 percent. In 2013, 86 percent of adult Coloradans did not meet recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.
The first year of Double Up Food Bucks Colorado will include reaching 30 farmers markets and at least five additional retailers in 19 counties across Colorado. Participating Farmers Markets in Garfield County are the Downtown Glenwood Springs Market, Rifle Farmers Market and New Castle Community Market. The Double Up Food Bucks Colorado program also goes beyond farmers markets in Colorado through community-based urban agriculture projects with on-site marketplaces (including Community Supported Agriculture, food co-operatives, corner stores and urban agriculture marketplaces) located in low-income neighborhoods.
“Obesity is one of Garfield County Public’s primary areas of focus, and through healthy food access we can start to create behavior change towards reduction and prevention,” said Yvonne Long, Director of Garfield County Public Health.
The funding is available through the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The USDA FINI Grant brings a half million dollars of federal funding into Colorado, including more than $100,000 in cash incentives alone in 2016, with an increase in incentives in years two and three of the program. The grant was matched by more than $899,000 from 26 partners committing financial and in-kind support to make this program possible in Colorado.
A list of partners participating in Double Up Food Bucks Colorado is online at DoubleUpColorado.org.
LiveWell Colorado (www.livewellcolorado.org) is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to preventing and reducing obesity in Colorado, by promoting healthy eating and active living. With the goal of eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity, LiveWell Colorado focuses its efforts on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. Working in partnership with obesity prevention initiatives across the state, LiveWell Colorado aims to provide every Coloradan with access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. For more information, please visit: LiveWellColorado.org.
The LiveWell Garfield County Coalition brings together community resources to promote affordable access to and education about healthy eating and active living, to reduce the burden of obesity-related chronic disease, for all who live, work, learn, and play in Garfield County.
Double Up Food Bucks was created by Fair Food Network (www.fairfoodnetwork.org) in 2009. It began at five farmer’s markets in Detroit, spread statewide to more than 150 sites across Michigan including grocery stores in one of the first pilots in the country, and has since become a model for healthy food incentives implemented by communities nationwide. Today, Double Up programs are active in 13 states with six more states launching efforts in 2016.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data [online]. 2015. Accessed April 2016 at http://wwwdev.cdc.gov/brfss/brfssprevalence/.
1 Colorado Health Institute analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004-2013).
1 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (2014). Facts for Action: Chronic Diseases and Related Risk Factors in Colorado, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Colorado. Accessed at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/DC_fact-sheet_Fruit-vegetables_Nov-2014_without-Appendix.pdf)