The New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association is pleased to announce that the State of New Mexico has, in a bi-partisan effort, agreed to continue providing funds for our Double Up Food Bucks program, which allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) recipients to double their food dollars for fresh fruits and vegetables at select locations in the state. The program helps New Mexico’s underserved improve their nutrition while also helping local food producers increase sales, which is a benefit to local economies.
How it works
Double Up Food Bucks – also called “Double Up” – works by providing SNAP shoppers a dollar-for-dollar match for New Mexico-grown fruits and vegetables purchased at participating farmers’ markets and other outlets (to find an outlet near you, head here). Here’s how it works:
- If a customer spends $10 of their SNAP benefits on locally grown food, they are given an extra $10 in market tokens or store credit to spend on more New Mexico-grown fruits and vegetables. If they spend $20, they get an additional $20 in Double Up Food Bucks, and so on.
- For more specific information about using Double Up, head here.
During 2016 the program will expand to almost 90 retail sites in the state (up from 34 sites last year), including 50 farmers’ markets, plus grocery stores such as La Montanita Coop, farm stands, multiple mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture outlets.
Here’s What You Can Do Now
For the program’s success, it’s important that everyone spreads the word about the program. To do your part for New Mexico’s hungry:
- Share this post to anyone you know who will benefit from the program. There is nutritious food out there for those who need it!
- Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up-to-date about program announcements, new shopping locations, and recipes that work well with the DUFB program.
- Visit the Double Up website. The program relies on a state-wide effort to assist with program outreach and education. Individuals or organizations that would like to get involved with the program can locate resources on the Double Up website or contact program manager Lucy McDermott by email or phone at 505-983-4010.
A Bi-Partisan Success
The program continues because of a bi-partisan desire to help New Mexico’s hungry. In February 2016, Governor Susana Martinez signed a $6.2 billion state budget (House Bill 2), which included $390,300 for the Double Up Food Bucks program. It was a difficult year at the legislature as a result of persistently low oil and gas prices with total budget reductions of nearly $53 million, but legislators on both sides of the aisle recognized the power of the Double Up Food Bucks program. The program also promises the pending match of more than $2 million in federal dollars over the next fours years.
Among many legislative supporters, three leaders instrumental in securing state funding this year were State Representative Larry Larrañaga (R, Albuquerque) who carried the bill in 2014, and Representative Jimmie Hall (R, Albuquerque) and House Speaker Don Tripp (R, Socorro), both longtime supporters of local food and farming initiatives.