Since 2010, low-income New Mexicans have benefited from a powerful and growing program that addresses challenges of food access and improved nutrition all while stimulating market demand for locally grown produce – the Double Up Food Bucks program.
However, recent recommendations from the Legislature threaten to undermine the scope and success of this simple, yet impactful program.
The Double Up Food Bucks program works by using public and/or private funding to match spending from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients dollar-for-dollar when they use benefits to purchase fruits, veggies, breads, chiles and other foods grown and produced in New Mexico at participating farmers’ markets.
For example, if a family spends $20 from their SNAP card at a participating farmers’ market, the market cashier will give them an additional $20 to buy fresh fruits and vegetables grown in New Mexico. The family is able to bring home $40 worth of healthy food, and in turn farmers selling at the markets make twice the amount in sales from that family than they otherwise would.