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 just been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant to launch Double Up Food Bucks Colorado. “We believe that by coming together, we can make a bigger difference helping Coloradans overcome barriers to accessing healthy, affordable food,” stated San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition lead local partner Liza Marron. Other important partners include First Southwest Bank, the Alamosa Farmers Market, the Valley Food Coop, the South Fork Farmers Market, Saguache’s Fourth Street Food store and the San Luis Valley Cooking Matters Program.
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.… 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.
First Southwest Bank provided match funds that will enable four San Luis Valley food distribution centers to participate in the launch of the Colorado Double Up program, the first of its kind in rural Colorado.
Mandy Pittman Alamosa Farmers' Market manager is excited about how Double Up will add to an amazing market this season. “On Saturdays…customers can patronize our wonderful local produce vendors and get more bang for their buck. This season the Market will not only offer great activities, performances, amazing local foods, and crafted items but now we can also offer our SNAP recipients a great opportunity to stretch their dollars.”