Sen. Debbie Stabenow: SNAP Beneficiaries Who Buy Fruits and Veggies Double Value

Ali Meyer | March 26, 2015 | 12:11pm EDT
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Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) (AP)

( - “If you use food assistance,” and “you’re buying fruits and vegetables for your children, for yourselves, we’ll give you double value,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced on Thursday at the Washington Post’s “Changing the Menu” forum in Washington, D.C., focusing on healthy eating and wellness.

“In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in SNAP, we have for the first time taken things that have been done locally, and Michigan I’m proud to say is one of the leaders in this,” said the senator.

“Something called, what we called Double-Up Box, but local food programs that say if you use food assistance, your Bridge Card, to buy at a Farmers Market and we’re now expanding it to groceries as well and you’re buying fruits and vegetables for your children, for yourselves, we’ll give you double the value,” she said.

“Now this started with foundations in Michigan and others. So go to the farmer’s market, and you’re buying what we all want folks to buy as well as have for ourselves.” said Stabenow.

“Often times it costs more, and so we’ll give you double the value for doing that and those grants are going out in fact very shortly. They’re going to be announced, and that is another part of creating more choices for families regardless of your income, so you can do what you want to do to take care of your children,” she said.

Stabenow also discussed the Farm Bill, which passed in 2014, that she authored while chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

“This Farm Bill is about our future, growing our agriculture economy, protecting food assistance for families in need of support, preserving our land and water, and reducing the deficit,” she said.

The bill “doubles SNAP benefits for low-income families when they buy healthy produce at farmers’ markets (for funding for programs like Detroit’s ‘Double-Up Food Bucks,’ increases funding for food banks, and provides financing for new grocery stores in under-served neighborhoods.”

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