Double Up Food Bucks Arizona had a fantastic year, and we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store! In 2017, we expanded to more markets, brought more families and individuals healthy and local produce, and highlighted some of the hard-working farmers, farmers markets, market managers and communities that make this program possible. Here is a breakdown of our best year yet:
Double Up Food Bucks has grown significantly in the past year. We are thrilled to help many more Arizonans gain access to local fresh produce, and to help local farmers thrive. The program expanded its reach to 1,285 new SNAP customers just in the last quarter of the year! Over $100,000 in SNAP and Double Up benefits were redeemed during that same time period, which means more food-insecure families got access to fresh produce, and more money stayed in local economies all year long.
We are thrilled to see the benefits of Double Up Food Bucks reaching more markets, communities and Arizonans across the state. This year, we had six new markets join the Double Up network. The program is now at 23 farmers markets, three farm stands, and 40 Fresh Express Mobile Market stops across the state. Fresh Express added 25 extra stops in April of this year, bringing Double Up Food Bucks to more people in Maryvale neighborhoods. We look forward to expanding even more in 2018!
This year, we started our "Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets” video series, where we visited some farmers markets in Arizona and talked to local farmers. We encourage more people to visit farmers markets not only to Double Up on local produce, but also to meet the farmers and connect with their community. In the new year, keep an eye out for more videos with Arizona farmers, businesses, market managers and more. Check out the links below for stories, recipes and more from our amazing Double Up partners:
- Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets: On the Vine Farms at Roadrunner Park
- Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets: Hassayampa Vineyard and Farm at the Prescott Farmers Market
- Voces de los Mercados de Agricultura en Arizona: Granja Aguiar
- Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets: Whipstone Farm at the Prescott Farmers Market
- Voices of Arizona Farmers Markets: Lewis' Hen House & Veggie Farm at the Roadrunner Park Farmers Market
We also took part in American Farmland Trust's Farmers Market Celebration, which raises awareness about the vital link between family farmers and our local food. We highlighted some Arizona markets that go above and beyond to support family farms, bring healthy food to those who need it the most, bring communities together, and promote sustainability.
Double Up Food Bucks made headlines across the state throughout the year! We're so grateful for this coverage and the opportunity to reach more Arizonans and help them bring home twice as much healthy, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Check out some of the stories below:
- New program encourages nutrition, increases access to healthy food for Flagstaff families, while supporting local farmers
- Arizona food deserts: How can leaders and residents address the issue?
- "Double Up" bucks for twice the food
- Shop smart at Farmers Market
- Maryvale trying to revive neighborhood through weekly farmers markets
- More Arizona families can afford to eat healthy thanks to this new program
- Payson Farmer’s Market returns on Memorial Day Weekend
- Double Up SNAP Program helps locals and farmers.
Here's to an even better 2018!
We had a great year, and we're looking forward to an even brighter and healthier 2018. This year, we are excited for a campaign for new statewide legislation that will help Arizonans bring home more fresh, local, healthy food. Senator Kate Brophy McGee is sponsoring the bill, which will call for an appropriation from the general fund to enhance the buying power of SNAP participants through the Double Up Food Bucks Arizona program to buy Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) and grocery stores.
The bill would help expand the reach of Double Up Arizona's incredible benefits to more communities, stores and organizations across our state. Stay tuned to Double Up Food Bucks Arizona's Facebook and Twitter pages for more details and exciting announcements.
Thanks to all of our amazing partners, customers and advocates for making 2017 a year to remember!