Why We Need Double Up
Too many families struggle to bring home the healthy food they need to thrive. Every year, East Tennessee residents use SNAP to help put food on the table.
We're working towards an East Tennessee where everyone has greater access to fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Double Up East Tennessee is a program of Nourish Knoxville. It matches EBT Card, or food stamps, dollars spent at farmers' markets and farm stores up to $20 per day in fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
This means more healthy food for families, more business for local farmers, and a boost for local economies. Everyone wins.
Double Up Food Bucks:
- Brings fruits and vegetables within reach of everyone.
- Creates new markets for East Tennessee farmers, which puts more money in their pockets and strengthens local economies.
- Increases families' food dollars and supports better nutrition while building a fairer food system—from farm to fork.
Double Up is a Win for Everyone
With Double Up, families who need it most get the support to buy twice as much fruits and veggies, whether fresh strawberries at farmers' markets or locally grown kohlrabi at a farm store.
And the cherry on top: these purchases support local farmers and create more vibrant local economies.
People and Families
Since 2019, hundreds of East Tennesseans have used Double UP Food Bucks to buy more than $60,000 worth of healthy, local food.
Those who used Double Up at farmers' markets ate more fruits and vegetables, like apples, melons, cucumbers, and broccoli. We think that’s just peachy.
Of farmers who participated in Double Up, many sold more fruits and vegetables and made more money.
With greater sales, some farmers were able to expand their production and even buy or lease new equipment—giving a particular boost to farmers just starting out.
To support area businesses and strengthen communities, buying more local produce is low-hanging fruit.
One dollar spent at a farmers' market can generate much more for a community’s economy. If more food purchases in East Tennessee were shifted to local sources, it is estimated this shift would create many new jobs.
A Model for America
The Double Up East Tennessee program is part of a national model for food security. Double Up was piloted in Detroit in 2009, and soon became a national model. Today, Double Up is offered in more 900 locations in dozens of states.
A little goes a long way. As food assistance is the largest single expenditure in the federal agriculture budget, redirecting even a small percentage toward locally grown food has an enormous impact in local communities.
In 2019, Nourish Knoxville partnered with Fair Food Network to bring Double Up Food Bucks to East Tennessee.
In East Tennessee, Double Up is operated by Nourish Knoxville, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization cultivating healthy communities by supporting relationships between local farmers, producers, and the public. The program is operated in collaboration with a variety of partners, with guidance from Fair Food Network.