What part of the food system do you work on?
My work focuses primarily on food access for low-income families, with a focus on healthy food.
Could you tell us more about the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program and role you play?
DUFB is a grant-funded program from the USDA. It is a nation-wide program, but in Missouri it is run through Double Up Heartland, which is a partnership of Missouri and Kansas. It is funded through a match provided by local funders in MO and KS to the USDA grant, and in total we have about $6 million to implement the program for 3 years in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. It is a dollar for dollar match for locally produced fruits and vegetables for people who receive SNAP (previously known as food stamps) benefits. If someone is on SNAP and they go to a Missouri Schnucks store or a participating farmer’s market, for every dollar they spend on locally grown produce they get a dollar to go toward a purchase of other produce. The idea is to incentivize healthy food eating for locally produced produce, which provides vibrant local economies for farmers as well. It is providing a win-win solution for local farmers as well as incentivizing healthy food for those using SNAP.
I am in charge of coordinating outreach for the program. SNAP users are alerted to the program by the Department of Social Services through a letter that goes out once a year. However, because the people on SNAP change quite frequently, some people might not know about the program if they join after the letter has gone out. So, it is my job to spread the word about the program and let users know they can go to Schnucks and farmers’ markets to partake in the program. I do that through community-partner organizations working on food access issues or those who work with SNAP populations.
What is OneSTL?
OneSTL is a regional plan for sustainability that was finalized in 2013 through a Housing and Urban Development grant. It includes goals on a wide-range of topics such as water quality, biodiversity, air quality, transportation, housing and urban development, food access and more. We have goals to increase food access in our region for populations that live in a food desert or people who don’t have easy access to healthy food outlets. In pursuit of achieving this goal, we think Double Up Food Bucks is one kind of strategy to get at food access issues in our region.… Read the rest