Program that helps low-income families get more fruits and vegetables expands
Double Up Oklahoma Expands
by Sam Kirzner, Double Up Oklahoma Program Manager, Hunger Free Oklahoma
October 26, 2020
Double Up Oklahoma (DUO), a program that matches SNAP purchases with free produce dollar-for-dollar, is expanding to grocery stores!
This farmers market season, DUO operates in 16 farmers markets and one mobile grocer. About 17.9% of Oklahoma SNAP participants currently live in an area with a participating DUO market. Over the next two years, an expansion including grocery stores will result in over 50% of SNAP participants in Oklahoma gaining access to a DUO retailer.
The Double Up Oklahoma program helps SNAP recipients by matching SNAP purchases dollar-for-dollar. To receive the DUO match, all SNAP participants have to do is spend their SNAP dollars at a participating retailer, and each SNAP dollar is matched by a dollar in DUO, up to $20 per day. Unlike normal SNAP, which can be spent on most food items, DUO can only be spent on fruits, vegetables, and herbs (some farmers markets also offer plants that grow food).
Double Up Oklahoma is a triple-win for Oklahomans.
- Families bring home more healthy food.
- Farmers increase sales and farm revenue.
- More food dollars stay in our local economy, strengthening our communities.
Generous support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) will mean that between now and October of 2021 up to 11 non-metropolitan communities will be added to a pilot grocery store program. Hunger Free Oklahoma and our partner grocers are currently engaged in creating a seamless system to implement this program. The goal is to reduce stigma and make redeeming the benefit as simple as using a coupon.
According to Julie Bisbee, Executive Director of TSET, “This program is critical in helping meet the nutritional needs of many families who find themselves in hard times due to COVID-19. Additionally, we are excited about the innovation of this project which is being built in a way that could be replicable in grocery stores across the state. Expanding DUO to grocery stores is a crucial component of addressing Oklahoma’s health disparities.”
In addition to this targeted expansion to brick-and-mortar grocery stores, Double Up Oklahoma will continue to operate in farmers markets and mobile grocers across the state. In 2020, through funding from Oklahoma’s philanthropic community, DUO expanded from 10 to 16 markets. In 2021, DUO is expected to reach up to 25 farmers markets. In all, up to 36 locations in rural and urban Oklahoma will provide over $500,000 in DUO in 2021.
Be the first to know when DUO’s first grocery store program launches – follow @DoubleUpOklahoma on Facebook and Instagram. To find a DUO location near you or for more information please go to www.DoubleUpOklahoma.org. If you are a grocery store or farmers market interested in more information about Double Up Oklahoma please email Samuel.Kirzner@hungerfreeok.org.
Double Up Oklahoma would not be possible without our generous donors. Thank you!
The Ardmore Institute of Health | Sanford and Irene Burnstein Family Foundation | Fair Food Network | George Kaiser Family Foundation | Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation | The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation