New Program Enlists SNAP Recipients & Other Community Members in Increasing Access to Healthy Foods
Individuals who participate in SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) are now helping others gain access to healthy food. This is occurring through the Community Food Advocate program, which was launched as a pilot this past summer by LiveWell Colorado. The Advocate program engages existing Double Up Food Bucks Colorado (DUFB) and SNAP participants as well as other community members to spread the word, face to face and neighbor to neighbor, about the DUFB program and how to use it. Advocates are provided stipends and mileage for their work.
This month, the program got an extra boost as a result of a two-year $130,268 Community Food Projects grant through the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will allow the program to expand beyond southwest Colorado and Denver (where it was piloted) to seven more regions in the state by end of 2019.
DUFB is a program designed to increase access to healthy food for low-income Coloradans by enabling SNAP shoppers to bring home more fresh fruits and vegetables. When customers spend $1 on any SNAP-eligible item at participating markets and retailers, they receive $1 for fresh, Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. The Community Food Advocates are helping to spread the word about this program within their communities.
“We recognize that in order to run a robust and responsive program, we need to work more closely with DUFB participants, and locally led outreach is so effective,” says Wendy Peters Moschetti, Director of Food Systems for LiveWell Colorado. “LiveWell is committed to making DUFB a more grassroots program by working with participants as key ‘ambassadors’ and decision makers in program outreach and planning.”
LiveWell has worked with a statewide advisory team to develop the program, drawing on the Community Health Worker model and promotora programs. Currently, DUFB is managed by a statewide coordinator, based in Denver, and further supported by market managers throughout the state.
For more information about Double Up Food Bucks Colorado or the Community Food Advocate Program, visit www.Doubleupcolorado.org.
LiveWell Colorado (www.livewellcolorado.org) LiveWell Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to increasing access to healthy eating and active living by removing barriers that inequitably and disproportionately affect low-income communities and people of color. LiveWell focuses on policy, environmental, and systems changes that advance opportunity for healthy behaviors. Working with partners in communities across the state, LiveWell aims to ensure that all Coloradans live in environments with equitable access to the nourishing food and physical activity they need to be healthy.
Double Up Food Bucks was created by Fair Food Network (www.fairfoodnetwork.org) in 2009. It began at five farmers markets in Detroit, spread statewide to more than 150 sites across Michigan including grocery stores in one of the first pilots in the country, and has since become a model for healthy food incentives implemented by communities nationwide. Today, Double Up programs are active in 20 states nationwide.