DOUBLE-UP FOOD BUCKS

The Utopia Foundation helped the non-profit Groundworks and the other members of the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network to raise $50,000 to bring Double-Up Food Bucks to our region. This innovative program, developed by the Fair Food Network, doubles the money of financially struggling families when they spend their SNAP Bridge Card (food stamps) to buy locally grown produce from farmers in farmers markets, benefiting both healthy food access and the local economy. Utopia’s matching grant inspired nearly $40,000 in donations, with Utopia providing the final amount needed in the match; and leveraged an additional $25,000 from the Fair Food Network.  That meant $75,000 for our farms and families. Since 2011, customers who qualify for the SNAP Bridge Card (food stamps) have spent nearly $260,000 with regional farmers, in nearly 6,400 transactions. Your support will help this innovative program expand and continue to provide access to fresh, healthy food for all.