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The new Double UP food Bucks Arizona (Double Up AZ) program is helping to ensure more people have fresh healthy fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Having better access to locally grown organic foods is also helping to support local economic growth and health.
Robert McClendon, a farmer in the region explained to local 12 News that this program opens up doors for families that couldn’t afford the produce.
Data were taken from St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance revealing that 18% of Arizonans don’t have access to nutritious foods.
Programs like this and other federally funded programs or Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI’s) offer healthy food access to more families in need of healthier diets.
Research shows that Latinos are likely to spend more on fruits and vegetables when offered subsidies or purchasing power for healthy foods at farmer’s markets.
Double Up AZ offers anyone using SNAP dollars or often called “food stamps” a free dollar for every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible food items, even bread, eggs, or other Arizona grown produce at the market up to twenty dollars.
The benefit doesn’t end there, it extends to the farmers, who are working to provide fresh foods to locals.
“It is an extra support for us over and above our regular customer base and works very, very well,” McClendon told 12 News. “People really appreciate it.”
Consuming healthier foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis has also been shown to help reduce heart disease, type two diabetes, hypertension and more.
To learn more about how your environment and access to healthier food can help prevent unhealthy weights for your family, click here.