MU Extension to lead Double Up Food Bucks in much of Missouri

Program promotes healthy eating in Missouri, Kansas.

  • Published: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This year, more low-income families in Missouri and Kansas will be able to double their buying power when purchasing fruits and vegetables.

New USDA funding will allow the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program in the two states from 80 to 140 locations. The program provides eligible consumers a dollar-for-dollar match – up to $25 per day – for produce at participating grocery stores and farmers markets.

Consumers are eligible if they are enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), said Londa Nwadike, extension food safety specialist for the University of Missouri and Kansas State University.

Last summer, MARC – a nonprofit association of cities and counties in the bistate Kansas City region – received a three-year, $4.6 million grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to bring Double Up Food Bucks to more locations.

The program has redeemed almost $3 million in incentives for SNAP recipients since 2015, said MARC’s Donna Martin, manager of Double Up Food Bucks.

MARC partners with local and regional organizations to implement the program. Through a $757,622 contract, MU Extension will work with farmers markets outside metro Kansas City and west-central Missouri.

“This program is a huge benefit to SNAP recipients, to be able to afford to buy more fruits and vegetables,” said MU Extension state nutrition and health education specialist Jollyn Tyryfter, who works with Nwadike on the project.

“It’s also a great benefit to local farmers market vendors who are able to sell more fruits and vegetables,” added Jennifer Elms, the newly hired coordinator of MU Extension’s Double Up Food Bucks program.

CultivateKC and the West Central Missouri Community Action Agency will continue to serve markets implementing Double Up Food Bucks in metro Kansas City and west-central Missouri, respectively.

For more information, visit www.DoubleUpHeartland.org.

Writer: Curt Wohleber

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