Double Up Colorado
Double Up Food Bucks Colorado (Double Up Colorado) helps increase access to fresh, Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. When recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) shop at participating farmers markets, they can now have their purchase matched with a voucher worth up to a $20 per visit to put toward Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables.
Food insecurity is a significant issue in Colorado, with 11 percent of our state’s population living in poverty.1 Many of these Coloradans rely on food assistance programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps), which serves more than 485,000 Coloradans a month.2 However, most SNAP recipients receive $1.41 per meal or $4.23 per day in benefits,3 making it a challenge to have enough money to buy food for the whole month.
Double Up Colorado addresses the challenges these families face by increasing the amount of Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables that recipients of SNAP can purchase. Double Up Colorado will be active in 30 farmers markets, 3 food box sites, and 4 small retailers (including Community Supported Agriculture, food co-operatives, corner stores and urban agriculture marketplaces). You’ll find a full list of the participating markets below.
Double Up Colorado is made possible through a Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, please visit the USDA’s resource page.
1 U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey: Poverty, September 2015.
2 Food Action and Resource Center report: Profile of Hunger, Poverty, and Federal Nutrition Programs – updated January 2016 (Accessed at: http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/snapdata2016_jan.pdf )
3 USDA Food and Nutrition Service SNAP Program Data
Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? Find more information on our frequently asked questions page or contact us at DoubleUp@livewellcolorado.org.
Participating Farmers Markets and Innovative Retailers
LiveWell Colorado convened the planning process for this grant opportunity, bringing together 35 organizations from 19 counties to identify shared values and priorities, querying local food policy councils through the Colorado Food Policy Network, and capturing feedback from other local partners. LiveWell is the project director and supports all aspects of Double Up Colorado.
Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is the state agency responsible for administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and fully supports the Double Up Colorado Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Project. Since 2011, CDHS has worked with the Colorado Farmers Market Association (CFMA) and markets and partners around the state to increase SNAP participants’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) machines and other supports. CDHS strongly believes that this program will benefit many Coloradans struggling to make healthy food choices and is committed to supporting outreach to SNAP participants in the relevant counties. CDHS has provided EBT machines at no charge to farmers markets in Colorado through a USDA grant for the past three years.
Colorado Farmers Market Association is a membership organization that includes 42 total markets located across the state. CFMA’s role in Double Up Colorado is to provide guidance and technical support to participating markets and collaborate with LiveWell on market outreach and coordination; work with the evaluator to monitor progress toward program goals; share best practices among participating markets, and prepare project and financial reports. CFMA currently provides technical assistance to markets on SNAP and incentives and is evaluating the effectiveness of these efforts. Thirty five farmers markets and farm stands participated in Double Up Colorado in year one.
Cooking Matters Colorado (CMCO) is a statewide SNAP Ed provider of nutrition and food skills education, partners with more than 280 organizations, including farmers markets, grocery stores, food pantries, and other community organizations, to ensure low-income residents have access to healthy food. CMCO has connected more than 79,000 families in need with high-quality, research-based nutrition education in 51 of Colorado’s 64 counties. CMCO offers onsite nutrition education to Double Up Colorado sites to increase participants’ understanding of the nutritional value of fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as how to prepare these foods in delicious, healthy meals.
Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) implements Harvest Bucks, a program within BCPH’s Built Environment and Health Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program that seeks to increase health equity by improving access to fruits and vegetables for Boulder County’s low-income residents. The Harvest Bucks Program, a core partner of Double Up Colorado, incentivizes fruit and vegetable purchases at Boulder, Longmont and Denver farmers markets for SNAP participants; provides education and outreach; and tracks and evaluates program effectiveness. Boulder is a StrikeForce county.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union collectively partner with the majority of fruit and vegetable growers all across the state. These organizations identify and elevate new direct market opportunities for Colorado growers, including to underserved and lower-income communities that might lack access to fresh foods. They support Double Up Colorado by encouraging their members to participate in Double Up at partner farmers markets and retailers, and educating their members about ways to communicate and engage with SNAP participants that will encourage repeat customers.
Additional Key Partners
Double Up States
Orange States with Double Up Logos: Active Double Up partner programs
Yellow States without Double Up Logos: Future Double Up partner programs
Green States: Fair Food incentive partners but not Double Up programs