Double Up Food Bucks
Double Up Food Bucks, Iowa’s statewide healthy food incentive program, is expanding to six additional locations in central Iowa. Double Up Food Bucks increases low-income shoppers’ purchasing power for fruits and vegetables while supporting Iowa growers.
The Double Up program matches the value of SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) purchases made at participating farmers markets with additional dollars to spend on fresh, locally grown produce. For instance, a family that spends $10 in SNAP benefits at a participating farmers market receives an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks to purchase Iowa-grown fruits and vegetables.
The wins are three-fold: low-income families eat healthier food, local farmers gain new customers and make more money, and more food dollars stay in the local economy. Each has a ripple effect of benefits.
You can find Double Up Food Bucks at the following locations in central Iowa:
LSI Global Greens Farmers Market
Lutheran Services in Iowa Parking Lot, 3116 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311
Saturdays, 9a-1-pm, May – October
West Des Moines Valley Junction Farmers Market
301 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Thursdays 4-8:30pm, May – September
Beaverdale Farmers Market
4100-4200 Urbandale Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310
Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30p, June – September
Drake Neighborhood Farmers Market
24th St between Cottage Grove & Drake Park Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311
Thursdays 4:30pm-7:30pm, June – July
Johnston Farmers Market
Johnston City Hall Parking Lot, 6221 Merle Hay Rd in Johnston
Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 pm, May through October
Frequently Asked Questions
A: Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) is a program that “matches” SNAP EBT Card benefits spent at farmers markets. Whatever you spend on your SNAP Card, you’ll get a dollar for dollar match of up to $10 in DUFB that you can spend on fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Iowa. So, if you spend $10 on your SNAP EBT Card, you’ll get an extra $10 – FREE – that you can use to buy more fresh, locally-grown produce.
How do I get started?
Start at the market information booth. A staff person can swipe your EBT Card. You’ll tell the staff person how much you want to spend on your EBT Card, and you’ll get that amount of market currency that you spend like cash with the vendors that sell eligible food items. Each farmers market issues its own unique EBT Card currency – these are usually wooden, are usually worth $1 each, and are only good at the market where you received them.
Money is deducted from your SNAP EBT Card account the day you get the tokens, whether or not you spend the market currency that day. If you don’t spend all your market currency, you have two options: you can have the funds put back on your SNAP EBT Card on the same day, OR you can save the market currency and use it later. SNAP EBT Card currency can be spent any time during the entire market season. Vendors are not allowed to give you change for SNAP EBT Card currency.
When you use your EBT Card at a participating market, you’ll automatically get an equal value of DUFB, up to $10.
You can spend your DUFB on fresh fruit and vegetables that were locally grown. Look for vendors with a “Double Up” sign. You can also use DUFB to buy plants to grow food in your own garden. You can spend your SNAP EBT Card benefits on almost anything edible at the market, except ready-to-eat prepared foods.
Look for this signage with participating vendors:
Download a copy of this FAQ to make your market shopping experience easier.
DUFB is a program with two goals: to help low-income families access fresher, healthy foods AND to support local farmers. By spending your DUFB on locally grown products, you’re helping local farmers boost their incomes, and that is great for the Iowa economy. You can still use your SNAP EBT Card benefits for other food items, like meats, cheeses, and fresh breads from the other market vendors.
No, just come to the market and use your EBT Card. Go to the market central information booth to swipe your EBT Card. A staff member will help you and they will record the last few digits of your EBT Card account number – this is only so that we can track how many new customers are coming because of DUFB and how many times people come back.
Keep them and use them next week! DUFB are not refundable because they’re free. Some people like to save up their DUFB for when their favorite fruit and vegetables are in season, and then buy large quantities to can or freeze. The last day to use your DUFB tokens is October 31, 2017 or the closing day of the market, whichever comes first.
DUFB has a limited budget. We want as many people as possible to get the benefit of doubling their fruit and vegetable purchasing power, and the best way to do that is to limit the number of DUFB one person can get per market visit. You can come back every week to this market and you’ll get up to $10 matched at each and every visit from now through the end of October.
DUFB must be redeemed at any of the 13 DUFB markets in Iowa. In our area this includes:
An EBT Card is the common name for the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card used by recipients of federal food assistance benefits in Iowa. It has a picture of the Iowa horizon on it. SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the new name for the federal food assistance program formerly called Food Stamps.
In order to qualify for a EBT Card, you must meet certain requirements for income and expenses determined by the State of Iowa. To see if you qualify and apply for benefits, go to https://dhsservices.iowa.gov/apspssp/ssp.portal or call 1-855-889-7985. You can also contact your local food bank for information on where to go in your community to apply for benefits, or call the United Way’s 2-1-1 service (dial 2-1-1 on any phone).