FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2020
Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Receives $1.86M for Statewide Healthy Food Incentive Program
Double Up Food Bucks healthy food incentive program increases access
to healthy food for families, supports farmers
JACKSON, Miss. – Jackson Medical Mall Foundation announces $1.68M in new support to bring the healthy food incentive program Double Up Food Bucks to sites across Mississippi.
Double Up Food Bucks (Double Up) increases the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by doubling their dollars for more fresh produce. The program also supports local farmers by increasing produce sales.
“Double Up is a creative solution that improves healthy food access for families who need it most while providing real economic benefits for local farmers,” said Erin W. Smith, Double Up program director in Mississippi. “Programs like this can bolster local and regional food systems and help contribute to their long-term presence.”
Here’s how Double Up Works: For every $1 customers spend on fresh fruits and vegetables with their SNAP benefits, they receive an additional $1 to spend on their next produce purchase, up to $20 a day. This match is provided in the form of physical tokens at farmers markets and electronic coupons at grocery stores.
Double Up provides multiple benefits: it’s a win for families of lower income putting more healthy food on their tables; a win for local farmers selling more produce; and a win for area businesses as more food dollars circulate in the local economy.
Double Up Mississippi will launch at sites across the state this spring and run through October 2022. A list of participating locations can be found at doubleupms.com.
Double Up Mississippi is funded by multiple grants including a $841,000 award from The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) program. This federal grant is matched with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Fair Food Network among others.
Double Up was first piloted by Michigan-based national nonprofit Fair Food Network in 2009. Today it is a national model for healthy food incentives active in 27 states including more than 870 grocery and farmers market locations. Since 2009, more than $35 million in combined SNAP and Double Up healthy food purchases have been made. The success of Double Up programs in communities nationwide informed federal support for SNAP incentives, making it a permanent component of future farm bills.
“We are thrilled to see Double Up expanding in Mississippi,” said Oran Hesterman, founder and CEO of Fair Food Network. “This proven program is generating real benefits for families, farmers, and local businesses across the country.”
About Jackson Medical Mall Foundation
The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation’s mission is to eliminate health care disparities holistically through the promotion of creativity and innovation. The Foundation specializes in providing comprehensive health and human services, transportation, business leasing, and property management, community development and economic opportunities through creative placemaking. Want to find out more about the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation? Please visit our website at http://jacksonmedicalmall.org/