The Kentucky Double Dollars (KDD) program is a partnership between Community Farm Alliance (CFA) and Bluegrass Farm to Table (BGFtT) and is intended to:
a) Increase access to local food, especially fresh and healthy local food, to low income populations,
b) Increase sales and income to Kentucky farmers, and
c) Leverage federal food and nutrition program funds, specifically the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP), the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Multiple partners including federal, state, and private funding, support the Kentucky Double Dollars program.
The mission of the Kentucky Double Dollars program is to remove obstacles of WIC FMNP, SFMNP, and SNAP participants to increase the purchase and consumption of locally-grown food with point-of-sale “double dollars” incentives at multiple access points across Kentucky, including urban and rural farmers’ markets, Fresh Stop Markets (community-driven, sliding fee scale farmers markets), and selected pilot retail sites.
Kentucky Double Dollars directly supports Kentucky farmers by incentivizing Kentucky-grown produce and Kentucky-raised meat, eggs, and dairy. Through the use of the incentives, Kentucky Double Dollars also helps to direct more SNAP dollars to Kentucky farmers and producers.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income people to buy food at participating stores and increase a household’s food buying power. Any household (any person, family or group of people who live and buy and eat food together) meeting basic income and other requirements may be able to receive SNAP benefits.
WIC FMNP Participants
Since 1992, the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) has helped promote local farmers markets and bring locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables into the homes of WIC participants. In Kentucky, eligible WIC recipients receive food instruments (FIs) worth $16 each summer to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables or fresh-cut herbs. Local WIC agencies issue FMNP FIs and provide nutrition education emphasizing the importance of including fruits and vegetables in the diet daily.
The Kentucky Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables from Kentucky farmers’ markets to the dinner tables of low-income seniors (60+ with income less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level) who are nutritionally at-risk. Eligible seniors are provided with $28 in checks to purchase fresh, unprocessed, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs at state-approved farmers’ markets.
As we enter the 2019 program year Kentucky Double Dollars will launch at 41 farmers markets, 10 Fresh Stops, and 3 retail stores across Kentucky.
Kentucky Double Dollars is a partnership between CFA & Bluegrass Farm to Table. The program is financially supported by USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy/Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund, BB&T, Passport, and WellCare.
Under a USDA NIFA Community Food Project grant, Community Farm Alliance facilitated a Kentucky Food Policy Network (KFPN) in 2012-2014. The KFPN’s diverse stakeholders, including low-income populations, identified key areas for development including providing food access incentives that address nutritional health and leveraging federal FNS support to create a baseline of market support for farmers, especially beginning farmers. Based on the Double Dollar program that Community Farmers Market (Bowling Green, KY) created in 2013, CFA launched the “Double Dollars” program in 2014 with 6 farmers markets to “double up” WIC, SFMNP, and SNAP, providing $12,500 in privately sourced incentive funds. Those six markets representing 97 farmers from 22 counties, including farmers from 6 of the 8 Promise Zone Counties, grew their total sales 125% from $180,255 in 2013 to $223,762. An average of 16% of sales were attributed to SNAP/WIC/SFMNP sales, a significant increase in sales and food access. In 2015 nine markets participated in the FMSP Double Dollars and the companion Market Manager Cost-shares, representing 183 farmers and 64 non-agricultural producers from 35 counties. With FMSP support, these farmers markets saw an average of 32% growth in sales. Combined, the nine markets were able to leverage an additional $17,224 in federal dollars to support Kentucky farmers.Through USDA NIFA FINI Pilot Project funding, Bluegrass Farm to Table (BGFtT), in partnership with Blue Grass Community Foundation, launched Bluegrass Double Dollars (BGDD) in 2015 at a farmers’ market, 2 and 2 retail sites in Lexington, KY. In 2016 2 Fresh Stop Markets also participated. Since its launch in June of 2015, BGDD has redeemed over $37,000 in incentives for Kentucky-grown produce for SNAP participants and has increased sales for over 64 farmers. The average redemption rate for incentives across the participating venues is over 87%. Because of an initial investment from the USDA FINI Program, the BGDD team was able to attract over $25,000 in privately-raised dollars to support the program.