Oregon Food Bank’s ‘Double Up Food Bucks’ SNAP incentive program increases access for low-income families, supports area grocers and farmers
December 9, 2019 — PORTLAND, OR — The Oregon Food Bank will accept proposals from local grocery stores to participate in the Double Up Food Bucks Grocery Pilot (Double Up or DUFB). The nutrition incentive program matches Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to enable SNAP shoppers to purchase more fruits and vegetables. Shoppers will receive a matching credit for every dollar spent on fresh produce at participating grocery retailers — up to $10 per visit. Oregon Food Bank seeks to recruit six to eight full-service grocery stores to join the Double Up pilot, with a goal of distributing $250,000 of produce through SNAP incentives over the next 18 months.
“Double Up Food Bucks has already proven to be a hit among SNAP customers, farmers and market managers — not just in Oregon, but around the country,” said Kelly Fraser, Statewide Network Developer at Oregon Food Bank. “Expanding the program to retail outlets will further support local grocers and growers while providing low-income community members with year-round access to quality fruits and vegetables.”
Oregon Food Bank seeks retailers that are willing to adapt their point of sale technology to redeem incentives, commit to increased procurement of Oregon-grown produce, and provide adequate staff time to promote and support Double Up program implementation. Participating grocery stores will be reimbursed for SNAP incentives redeemed and supported to make any operational changes needed to implement a successful program.
Oregon Food Bank will work to select a cohort of stores that represent a diversity of Oregon’s geographic regions and communities. Priority will be given to independent stores that serve underserved communities with limited access to Oregon-grown produce. Recruitment will take place through January 31, 2020, with pilot store selection on an ongoing basis until six to eight stores have been secured.
A SUCCESSFUL MODEL
Close to 600,000 Oregonians — more than a third of whom are children — currently receive SNAP benefits. From 2015-18, more than 50 Oregon farmers markets launched a successful DUFB program to serve these families through a $1.5 million grant from the Farmers Market Fund. The current pilot will expand this success to select local grocery stores for the first time, thanks to an additional $1.5 million investment from the State of Oregon in the 2019-2021 biennial budget. The collaborative project is led by Farmers Market Fund, Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Farmers Markets Association and the Portland CSA Coalition.
ABOUT OREGON FOOD BANK
At Oregon Food Bank, we believe that food and health are basic human rights for all. We know that hunger is not just an individual experience; it is also a community-wide symptom of barriers to employment, education, housing and health care. That’s why we work on two fronts in our mission to end hunger in Oregon: we build community connections to help people access nutritious, affordable food today, and we build community power to eliminate the root causes of hunger for good. For more information, visit oregonfoodbank.org.