How it works

The start: Someone on SNAP visits the food stamp booth at the market, provides their EBT card and is given tokens to buy any eligible SNAP food available at the market.

Doubling up: The customer then receives an equal amount of tokens, up to $20, which can be used to buy fruits and vegetables only.

The tokens: SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks tokens differ; SNAP tokens are worth $1 and Double Up tokens are worth $2 and change isn’t given when they are used. The tokens only are available once each day, but need not be spent on the day they are received.

Redemption: Farmers willing to participate turn in tokens to market administrators and receive equal compensation.

The results in Michigan over the last five years:

• Started with five farmers’ markets in Detroit and now operates in more than 100 markets across the state.

• 90,000 SNAP recipients have used the program.

• 92 percent of farmers say they are selling more fruits and vegetables.

• Two million pounds of healthy food has gone onto the tables of low-income residents, while farmers have put an additional $3.5 million into their pockets.

• 10 percent of the SNAP money nationwide spent at farmers’ markets is spent in Michigan.

Source: Fair Food Network