New Program Coming to Farmers Markets to Encourage Iowans to Purchase Healthy Foods

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A new program is making it easier for some Iowans to bring home healthy foods.

"Double Up Food Bucks" is coming to select farmers markets in Iowa on July 7.

The program matches the value of federal nutrition benefits spent at markets, up to $10.

For example, a family that spends $10 will receive an additional $10 to use on fresh produce.

“We know that they want access to more fresh fruits and vegetables, and sometimes costs can be seen as prohibitive, so this is a great way to make their snap dollars go further by providing that incentive,” said Aubrey Alvarez of Eat Greater Des Moines.

Officials say the program also benefits local farmers.

“All of our produce is certified naturally grown, so there are no chemicals used, people are just doing a lot of weeding and all that so it's just really important to support the work people are doing to bring fresh, healthy, local food to our markets,” said Hillary Burbank, Lutheran Services in Iowa.

In our area, Perry and Lutheran Services of Iowa farmers markets offer the program.