FMF News

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USDA Awards Farmers Market Fund $1.9 Million to Expand Double Up Food Bucks Across Oregon

Farmers Market Fund’s nutrition incentive program is a win-win for Oregon’s families and farmers.

Portland, OR – Nov. 10, 2020 – The Farmers Market Fund (FMF) announced that it has been awarded a $1.9 million federal grant through the USDA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). This new federal support will allow FMF to expand its successful Double Up Food Bucks nutrition incentive program across Oregon. The Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program helps SNAP participants access more fresh fruits and vegetables. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating sites, Double Up Food Bucks recipients will now receive an additional dollar to spend on Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables. Over 700,000 Oregonians –– more than a third of whom are children ––currently receive SNAP benefits.

“We are thrilled that we’ve been selected to receive this grant,” says Molly Notarianni, Farmers Market Fund Executive Director. “This infusion of funds will provide critical support during a time of great need. SNAP participation has increased nearly 30% over the past year as families reel from the impacts of COVID-19. Our state’s small- and medium-sized farms are facing significant hardship as well. The Double Up program is a triple win: this GusNIP grant will uplift Oregon farmers, families, and local economies.”

For nearly a decade, Farmers Market Fund has worked to connect SNAP participants with local produce, facilitating over $3.25 million in combined SNAP and Double Up sales for farmers state-wide. This three-year grant will fund the DUFB program via a collection of outlet types at locations across the states, allowing DUFB to support Oregon families and farmers wherever they live –– urban and rural. The program will serve 65 farmers markets, 40 CSA farms, and 25 grocery stores in 21 of the state’s 36 counties.

Key partners on the grant include the Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Farmers Markets Association, Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and the Portland Area CSA Coalition.

“At a time when so many Oregonians are struggling to make ends meet, this significant expansion of ‘Double Up’ in grocery stores will help thousands of our neighbors access the healthy foods they want and need,” shared Ryan Schoonover, Oregon Food Bank Double Up Food Bucks Coordinator. “Hunger has nearly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic, with communities of color hit especially hard. We’re excited to support efforts to expand Double Up and other programs to include more locally-owned businesses that offer culturally-specific foods.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic surge in CSA popularity, and we’ve seen a two-fold increase in SNAP CSA participation since we began offering DUFB to shoppers,” explains Holly Hutchason, Portland Area CSA Coalition’s Executive Director. “It’s clear that Double Up has a major impact on helping Oregonians access local produce. With DUFB, this year we’ve been able to help more than 250 families purchase CSA shares with their SNAP benefits.”

The USDA’s investment is matched by $1.9 million in funds provided by local supporters including the Autzen Foundation, New Seasons Market, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, and the farmers markets themselves. The State of Oregon has also made a strong commitment to Double Up, investing $1.5 million from its 2019 budget in the program. “This is incredible news!” says Heather Miles, SNAP Program Manager at Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). “The Double Food Bucks program provides vital SNAP match food dollars for families throughout Oregon. This grant will allow even more families to have access to farm-fresh produce while also supporting our farmers and growers in Oregon.“

“The Double Up Food Bucks program has long proven helpful to Oregon families stretching their food dollars while putting money directly in the pockets of our state’s small farmers and grocers,” says US Senator Ron Wyden. “Now, in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this successful program run by the Farmers Market Fund will play an even more critical role in Oregon’s economic recovery. I’m thrilled the Farmers Market Fund has earned this grant for its Double Up Food Bucks program to support that role and I’m proud to support all of its important work.”

SNAP shoppers can access the Double Up Food Bucks program at participating farmers markets, grocery stores, and CSAs by using their EBT card.  For a list of participating sites, visit doubleuporegon.org.

This work is supported by the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program grant no. 2020-70030-33183 / 1024374 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Published on November 10, 2020

Farmers Market Fund is in Give!Guide

We are thrilled to be included in the Willamette Week’s Give!Guide this year! If you’re not familiar, The Give!Guide has partnered with hundreds of local non-profits to help raise money to make a difference in our community. Give!Guide is giving ALL donors of $10 or more the following prizes:

  • Free chips and salsa from Por Que No
  • Free 8oz. Coffee from New Cascadia gluten-free bakery
  • Free smoothie from Laughing Planet
  • Free Day Pass for 1 at Circuit Bouldering Gym
  • Free Gluten-Free Gem pastry
  • Coupons for Elephants Deli, Bishops, Pizzicato, and Uwajimaya
  • Access to the Chinook Book App for tons of discounts from local businesses

There’s more. Give!Guide will also host 8 Big Give Days from November 1st – December 31st, where donors will be entered to win amazing prizes like a night’s stay at the Skamania Lodge, $500 to spend at Powell’s books, and more.

We will show our appreciation to donors of $10 or more to Farmers Market fund with:

  • a free bag of noodles from Umi Organic and a free Hot Mama Salsa to be redeemed at the farmers market.
  • Donate $250 or more and you will also receive a free copy of the Portland Farmers Market cookbook!

Hunger in Oregon has nearly doubled since the beginning of the pandemic, while the majority of small farmers report a loss of income due to decreased sales outlets. In this year of uncertainty, one thing is sure, Double Up Food Bucks is needed more than ever!

Giving is open now through December 31st, 2020! Click here to make your donation and receive the awesome prizes listed above! Your donation increases food access, supports small farmers, and keeps money in our local economy! It’s a win-win-win!

Published on November 3, 2020

 

COVID-19 and Hunger Update from FRAC

The Food Research and Action Center has recently released a report on the impact that COVID-19 has had on hunger in the United States and the results are quite striking. The percentage of people who report sometimes or often not having enough food has more than tripled since 2018. The report also found that BIPOC are being impacted more severely than White individuals and families.

So what can we do? The report also found that P-EBT and increased SNAP benefits that have been released since the pandemic hit have already shown to reduce hunger and food insecurity. Supporting these programs and programs like Double Up Food Bucks which stretch SNAP dollars further and support local economy (with your dollars) are two great places to start!

See the full report!

Published on October 1, 2020

Farmers Market Week Roundup!

There couldn’t be a better time than Oregon Farmers Market Week (August 2-7, 2020) to show off what farmers markets around Oregon have to offer! We rounded up some photos from Double Up Food Bucks partner farmers markets to help do that. Head over to their Instagram pages (linked below) to show them some love, or better yet, visit them in person! Bring your SNAP/EBT card to Double Up and receive up to $10 FREE to spend on fresh produce.

[/vc_column_text][vc_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1605052863945-8422a51e-9db6-7″ include=”1676,1678,1677,1681,1682,1683,1680,1679,1684″][vc_column_text]Pictured above (right to left, top to bottom):

  1. Heirloom tomatoes at the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market in Medford – @rvgrowersmarket
  2. Peppers and peas looking cute in Bend! – @bendfarmersmarket
  3. Cherries spotted at Oregon City Farmers Market – @oregoncityfarmersmarket
  4. Wallowa County Farmers Market in Joseph is brimming with greens, peaches, beans, cabbage, onions, garlic, beets, and so much more! – @wallowacountyfarmersmarket
  5. Oregon berries! (enough said) Woodlawn Farmers Market in Portland has got your berry needs covered – @woodlawnfarmersmarket
  6. So many colors at King Farmers Market in Portland! – @portlandfarmers
  7. Plenty of fresh, local, and delicious options available at Corvallis and Albany farmers markets! – @cafm_locallygrown
  8. Berries and cherry tomatoes in Veneta. What more could you want? – @venetadfm
  9. Pastured eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more abound at Portland’s South Waterfront Farmers Market – @southwaterfrontfarmersmarket

What have you bought with Double Up Food Bucks this summer at your local farmers market? Tag us on Instagram or Facebook with your market hauls!

For a list of all of the Oregon farmers markets offering Double Up Food Bucks this year and more information about the program, please visit doubleuporegon.org.

Published August 5, 2020

No food justice without racial justice: Why FMF is taking a stand against racism.

Farmers Market Fund stands in solidarity with the Black community, demanding justice and an end to racism and systems of oppression that inflict brutality on Black people across America. We grieve the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others.

At Farmers Market Fund, our mission is centered on creating an equitable and just food system: one that nourishes all Oregonians. But an equitable food system cannot exist within an inequitable society.

America’s food system has exploitation and racism at its roots: farms established on land stolen from Native people, a country built with the labor of enslaved Africans, and hundreds of thousands of farmworkers who are underpaid immigrant and migrant Latinx people subject to abuses including substandard housing, sexual harassment, and pesticide poisoning. Oregon’s history of racist and exclusionary practices has also shaped its agriculture. The most recent USDA agricultural census found only 3% of farm owner-operators in Oregon identified as a race other than White.

The Black, Indigenous, & people of color (BIPOC) community also experience the highest levels of food insecurity in Oregon. Systemic inequities in access to healthy food and healthy communities are a direct result of centuries of structural racism. We want families to have access to healthy foods, but this is impossible if Black families fear for their lives while traveling to purchase food. Food justice is impossible without racial justice.

Farmers Market Fund is dedicated to working to dismantle racism within our organization, our work, and our personal lives. We recommit to be an anti-racist organization, and acknowledge that our failure to do so vocally in the past has caused harm. We also acknowledge that we are a majority-White organization, which affords us certain privileges and limits our perspectives. We are committed to using our privilege to stand with BIPOC organizations, and to offer additional strength and solidarity for Black-led organizations. In addition to committing ourselves to ongoing learning, we are taking action to ensure we are working towards making Farmers Market Fund a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. We’ll keep you updated on our efforts through this page on our website over the upcoming months and years.

Racism will not stop unless we take action. We invite you, as a member of the Farmers Market Fund community, to join us on this journey.

In solidarity,

Farmers Market Fund staff & board

Here are some actions you can take today:

Donate to Black-led organizations working on food justice here in Oregon

Black Food Sovereignty Coalition serves as a collaboration hub for Black and Brown communities to confront the systemic barriers that make food, place, and economic opportunities inaccessible. The BFSC mission is to ignite Black and brown communities to participate as owners and movement leaders within food systems, placemaking, and economic development. To donateClick here

Mudbone Grown is a black-owned farm enterprise that promotes inter-generational community-based farming that creates measurable and sustainable environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts in communities. Their Pathways to Farming program is a 3-year farmer incubator program seeks to support farmers of color in the Pacific Northwest to launch their own agricultural businesses and to be a part of the creation of a farmer of color cooperative. To donateFind Mudbone through PayPal or through CashApp with the $Cashtag: $mudbonegrownllc

Equitable Giving Circle: The Equitable Giving Circle empowers BIPOC communities in Portland by  leveraging economic deposits from communities of privilege, through projects including gifting CSA shares to BIPOC families experiencing food insecurity who are not currently being served by the social services network. To donateClick here

Read / watch /  listen

White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

Farming While Black, Leah Penniman

Biased, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt

Me and White Supremacy,  Layla F Saad

Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources

“Why Aren’t There More Black People In Oregon?”, Walidah Imarisha

The 1619 Project podcast by New York Times

Seeing White podcast by Scene on Radio

Published June 11, 2020