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SNAP Dollars Go Further at Some Ore. Farmers Markets

Double Up Food Bucks is matching SNAP benefits at more than 50 participating farmers' markets in Oregon. (Mack Male/Flickr)
Double Up Food Bucks is matching SNAP benefits at more than 50 participating farmers' markets in Oregon. (Mack Male/Flickr)
August 1, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Food stamps are worth double for fresh fruits and vegetables at more than 50 farmers' markets and other food outlets across Oregon this summer.

Double Up Food Bucks Oregon will match each dollar Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients spend on their EBT cards, up to $10 per visit to a participating market.

Program Manager Katie Furia says Double Up Food Bucks benefits both the individuals receiving SNAP and the farmers.

"It's helping to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for families who are working a little harder to put food on the table,” she explains. “Also it's helpful for farmers who are the direct beneficiaries who receive those funds."

More than 700,000 Oregonians receive SNAP benefits each month. The average SNAP recipient relies on about $4 a day to buy food.

Although Oregon ranks second in the nation when it comes to eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, a little more than 1 in 10 are eating healthy amounts of these foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Often, low-income families struggle most to find access to healthy foods, living in so-called food deserts.

Furia reminds SNAP recipients that they can make farmers' markets one-stop shopping by purchasing all their groceries there.

"SNAP benefits at the market can go to purchase any of the SNAP-eligible foods at the market itself,” she points out. “So your breads, cheese, meats, eggs, and then the Double Up Food Bucks will purchase additional fruits and vegetables."

The Double Up Food Bucks program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Double Up Food Bucks has participating markets in 17 Oregon counties. You can go to doubleupOregon.org to find a participating farmers' market near you.



Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR