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Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market to Serve as Double Up For Bucks Pilot Site | Families

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Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market to Serve as Double Up For Bucks Pilot Site
Families, Health, News
Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market to Serve as Double Up For Bucks Pilot Site

Beginning Saturday, July 5, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market in Buffalo will serve as a pilot site for a new incentive program called Double Up For Bucks. This program has been arranged by the Field & Fork Network in order to provide the Western New York region with further access to fresh and healthy food.

Developed in Michigan, the Double Up For Bucks program provides individuals with EBT cards access to fresh produce. Customers can use their EBT card at the market to purchase dollar-for-dollar tokens that are used to purchase food products from participating vendors. With the Double Up For Bucks program, EBT users will now receive matching funds — in the form of silver tokens — that can be used only for fruit, vegetable and herb purchases. EBT users can receive up to $20 in Double Up tokens per visit.

The goal of the Double Up incentive program is to promote healthy lifestyles for lower-income customers. The program also provides economic growth for local businesses, merchants and farmers. 

Past pilot sites have found this program to be beneficial in encouraging healthy eating. According to surveys, over 90 percent of EBT customers from previous pilot sites say they began eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and almost all participating farmers have said they would like to participate in this program in upcoming years. Although the vouchers are only redeemable for local fruits and vegetables, it is likely that other merchants at the market will also benefit due to the incentive to make more purchases with an EBT card in order to receive the Double Up For Bucks tokens. 

A positive outcome for the program could lead to expansion into other states, according to representatives of the Field & Fork Network. To learn more about Field & Fork and the Double Up For Bucks program, please visit www.fieldandforknetwork.com

For more information during the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, please visit the Elmwood Village Association vendor tent.


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