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SNAP Dollars Worth Double at Some CO Farmers Markets

SNAP benefits will be matched dollar for dollar when purchasing Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables at more than 30 farmers markets and other outlets. (Pixabay)
SNAP benefits will be matched dollar for dollar when purchasing Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables at more than 30 farmers markets and other outlets. (Pixabay)
July 11, 2016

DENVER – Food stamps are now worth double for fresh fruits and vegetables at more than 30 farmers markets and other outlets in Colorado.

Double Up Food Bucks Colorado allows SNAP recipients to use their EBT cards and get up to $20 worth of extra fresh produce per visit at participating locations.

Wendy Moschetti, director of food systems for Live Well Colorado, says the program is one way to help working families that have a tough time putting food on the table.

"So your SNAP benefits, which you only receive once a month, usually don't even last the entire month,” she points out “How do we find ways to stretch those food dollars, and make it easier to access and find fresh fruits and vegetables, and the kind of healthy foods that everyone really wants to be feeding themselves and their families? "

Moschetti says nearly a 500,000 Coloradans rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) each month, and most get just over $4 a day to buy food.

She adds getting fresh produce is especially challenging in low-income and rural areas considered to be food deserts, so the program is also available through food-box sites, food stands and retail stores.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, low-income children are almost twice as likely to go without fruits and vegetables than other children, and 86 percent of Colorado adults don't eat enough produce.

Moschetti notes the extra money provided through the program can only be spent on food grown by Colorado farmers.

"You're not only increasing access to healthy foods, you're keeping more dollars in our local economy,” she points out. “But these are dollars, these incentive dollars, that are going straight into the pockets of our farmers that are growing fruits and vegetables, and looking to get those fruits and vegetables into more markets in Colorado.”

Double Up Food Bucks Colorado is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and matching funds raised through a partnership of more than 50 state and nonprofit food groups.

The program was created in Detroit in 2009, and is now active in 19 states. To find a participating food outlet online, visit DoubleUpColorado.org.



Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO