LiveWell Colorado kicks off program to help food stamp recipients get cheaper fruits and veggies

The Double Up Food Bucks, or DUFB, program led by LiveWell Colorado gives food stamps recipients $20 worth of free locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables each time they use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at participating farmers markets and grocers.

staff photo
Casondra Webb-Cole, program manager at Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters at the kick off of Double Up Food Bucks, June 14, 2017. (Courtesy of LiveWell Colorado)

Casondra Webb-Cole, program manager at Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters at the kick off of Double Up Food Bucks, June 14, 2017. (Courtesy of LiveWell Colorado)

A Denver-based nonprofit focused on healthy eating and active living expanded its program Wednesday to help food stamp recipients throughout Colorado buy fruits and vegetables.

The Double Up Food Bucks, or DUFB, program led by LiveWell Colorado gives food stamps recipients $20 worth of free locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables each time they use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at participating farmers markets and grocers.

LiveWell introduced the program to SNAP users last summer and expanded it this year to include 28 counties, 70 farmers markets and farm stands, 10 food box locations and 10 grocery stores. A full list of participating produce sellers can be found here.

SNAP serves just under 500,000 Colorado residents each month. Coloradans who receive SNAP benefits — or as they’re commonly known food stamps — are provided $1.41 per meal or $4.23 per day on average, according to LiveWell.

“There are so many benefits to the DUFB Program,” said Gabriel Guillaume, president and CEO of LiveWell, in a statement. “It helps close the food-spending gap over the entire month, reducing the risk of turning to unhealthy foods, particularly for children under the age of 18 who constitute almost half of SNAP participants.”

DUFB works by matching what SNAP users spend on food stamp-eligible foods — up to $20 per visit — with Double Up Food Bucks. Those bucks can be used right away or later to buy Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. It’s recommended participants stop by info booth at farmers markets before they shop.

The DUFB program is funded by USDA grant that brings half a million dollars of federal funding into Colorado. The grant is matched by more than $899,000 from 26 partners committing financial and in-kind support to make this program possible, according to a news release.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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