In January, The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation received $1.86M to implement the Double Up Food Bucks healthy food incentive program at sites across the state including the capital city of Jackson. Although the COVID-19 pandemic halted the production of many programs, Double Up Food Bucks Mississippi (DUFBM) still launched on March 26, 2020. This program provides many benefits for low-income families, local farmers, and the local economy. “Double Up is a creative solution that improves healthy food access for families who need it most while providing real economic benefits for local farmers,” said Erin W. Smith, Double Up program director in Mississippi. “Programs like this can bolster local and regional food systems and help contribute to their long-term presence.”
This is how it works:
For every $1 customers spend on fresh fruits and vegetables with their SNAP benefits, they receive an additional $1 to spend on their next produce purchase, up to $20 a day. This match is provided in the form of physical tokens at farmers markets and electronic coupons at grocery stores.
Currently, Mississippi is under a shelter-in-place order which means farmers markets are closed. So, produce stands are the alternative. Brookway Market Basket in Brookhaven is now offering the program, and the DUFBM team still eagerly anticipates being able to train and launch two additional produce stands by May 1.
Double Up Mississippi will launch at sites across the state this spring and run through October 2022. A list of participating locations can be found at doubleupms.com.